Photo courtesy EPCSO
Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Richard Wiles announced that the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with Emergence Health Network have established a Crisis Intervention Unit.
The new unit is tasked to respond to incidents involving a mental health crisis.
“When citizens call the police for a loved one or individual suffering from a mental health crisis, they expect a response that will provide protection from harm and a path of treatment,” Sheriff Richard Wiles said.
“These types of calls can be very challenging and should, when possible, be handled by mental health professionals.”
The unit is made up of three teams, and since April 12, 2021, one deputy and a clinician respond to calls involving mental illness servicing all of the unincorporated areas of El Paso County.
The Crisis Intervention Unit is trained to recognize mental illness, to enhance their verbal crisis de-escalation skills, and to provide a more streamlined access to community-based mental health services.