Mental Health Teams for SFPD

The San Francisco Police Dept. has implemented a new policy, forming a five-member mental health team that would join police officers on calls involving people who they suspect may be mentally ill or under the influence of drugs.

Officials said the idea was to let highly trained clinicians try to pacify troubled individuals, and hopefully avoid the sorts of deadly police confrontations that have recently set off protests around the country. Barbara Garcia, the director of the Department of Public Health, said the collaboration of agencies would allow mental health professionals to spot opportunities for interventions that the police might otherwise miss.

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