Pictured above (left to right) Senior Officer Frank Webb, Houston Police Department; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Stephanie Gillespie, Community Support Manager, Arlington (TX) Police Department; Captain Wendy Baimbridge, Houston Police Department.
As a Learning Site through the United States Council of State Governments Justice Center the Houston Police Department hosts law enforcement and mental health personnel from across the nation who want to learn about Houston’s multi-faceted response strategies for responding to individuals in serious mental health crises. Site visits are tailored to the interests of the agencies. Typically, visitors spend three days doing the following:
- Follow a Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) unit for one evening. CIRT pairs a Houston CIT officer with a masters-level licensed professional counselor from our local mental health authority.
- Tour the city/county dispatch center.
- Tour the NeuroPsychiatric Center (NPC). This is an emergency psychiatric facility where Houston officers take individuals in serious mental health crises. The average time an officer spends at the facility is 15 minutes.
- Receive a presentation on the Homeless Outreach Team.
- Receive a presentation on the Boarding Homes Enforcement Detail. Houston recently passed a city ordinance regulating un-licensed boarding homes in the city, many of which house individuals with mental illness.
- Receive a presentation on the Training Unit and the department’s CIT Program.
- Receive a presentation on the Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative. This is a pro-active, collaborative program that attempts to keep the most chronic mentally ill out of crisis rather than continually responding to them.
- Receive a presentation on the division’s comprehensive database. Data is integral to the division and drives all of the division’s programs.
- Meet with the division’s commander, supervisors, and the mental health supervisors Houston collaborates with.
Funds may be available to assist with the cost of the visit. Contact Officer Rebecca Skillern if you are interested in visiting. The following is Officer Skillern’s contact information:
We look forward to visiting with you!