Emerging partnerships between mental health and law enforcement

Psychiatr Serv. 1999 Jan;50(1):99-101. doi: 10.1176/ps.50.1.99.


Police departments in the 194 U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more were surveyed in 1996 to identify strategies they used to obtain input from the mental health system about dealing with mentally ill persons. A total of 174 departments responded (90 percent). Ninety-six departments had no specialized response for dealing with mentally ill persons. Among the 78 departments with special programs, three basic strategies were found: a police-based specialized police response, a police-based specialized mental health response, and a mental-health-based specialized mental health response. At least two-thirds of all departments, even those with no specialized response program, rated themselves as moderately or very effective in dealing with mentally ill persons in crisis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Patient Care Team / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Police*
  • Referral and Consultation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States