Golden Valley Police and Hennepin County to Share Social Worker
It’s a decision the Golden Valley Police Chief calls “a no brainer.”
Hennepin County and the Golden Valley Police Department will partner together to employ a social worker to respond to mental or behavioral health 911 calls.
Golden Valley city council members said during the meeting that they’ve received a lot of feedback about this issue from the community.
City staff members say the intent of the program is to eliminate disparities in police interactions between those who experience mental health crisis and people of color.
This agreement will run through the end of December 2022.
FULL SUMMARY OF ITEM
Hennepin County and the Golden Valley Police Department would like to partner to coordinate their expertise and delivery of services to provide 911 dispatch services in a manner that most effectively and efficiently supports and protects the physical, mental and behavioral health of individuals in Hennepin County.
To that end, the parties wish to establish a program that provides a social worker employed by Hennepin County that will work with GVPD through Hennepin County 911 dispatch to achieve the following objectives:
1.Provide social service follow up to individuals involved in mental / behavioral health related 911 calls (“Individual(s)”).
2.Decrease number of mental /behavioral health calls that have a law enforcement response.
3.Provide law enforcement officers and Individual(s) with information about community resources that may benefit Individual(s) and minimize the need for future 911 calls.
4.Decrease use of force by officers by providing officers en route to the call pertinent information from social service databases about the mental / behavioral health history of the Individual in crisis while on mental health related calls in Phase 2 of the Program.
5.Increase mental / behavioral health training for dispatchers. Mental Health training will be added to the new dispatcher training curriculum.
Although the above stated objectives do not specifically reference racial disparities, City staff’s intent is for this program to eliminate disparities in police interactions and outcomes among two different groups: those who experience mental health crisis and BIPOC communities. To achieve this goal, the parties will work together to identify additional desired outcomes and assess successes and failures as the program evolves, including creating a feedback loop with community to adapt responses as we learn about the impacts of this program on these groups.
Read more here.