City Club of Boise: The Intersection of Policing and Mental Health

Sep 7, 2018

Intersection of Policing and Mental Health
Credit City Club of Boise

The Boise Police Department (BPD) reports that 25% of all emergency calls to BPD are mental-health related. This forum’s title includes “Intersection” because there are many interconnected relationships between police and mental health services resulting in complex interdependent systems of response and care. This early September forum will focus on adults with mental illness who come in contact with the Boise police. The forum will present a panel of three experts to address the following major topics:

  • Crisis Centers, specifically Pathways Community Crisis Center of Southwest Idaho, which opened in Ada County in December, 2017.
  • Psychiatric Emergency Teams (PET), funded through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW).
  • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), a law enforcement model that includes professionals from different disciplines.
  • Idaho’s involuntary commitment laws as they apply to adults, age 18 and older.

Addressing these issues from a variety of perspectives, our panelists will be:

  • Boise Police Chief William (Bill) Bones. Chief Bones is a 20+ year veteran of the Boise police force. He was appointed Chief effective February 1, 2015 by Mayor Bieter. Chief Bones created the position of mental health coordinator in his first year as Chief and has implemented Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) within Boise Police Department.
  • Ross Edmunds, MSW, Administrator, Division of Behavioral Health, Idaho Dept. of Health & Welfare (IDHW). Mr. Edmunds has more than 20 years of experience in mental health services both as a clinician and administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health. He oversees operations of Idaho’s behavioral health system, including adult mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Dawn Rae, BS, NREMT-P, has been with Ada County Paramedics since 2003. Ms. Rae currently holds the position of community paramedic. She helped develop the Psychiatric Emergency Team (PET), which partners a community paramedic with an IDHW mobile-crisis clinician. PETs respond along with Ada County’s law enforcement agencies to a variety of 911 calls involving citizens experiencing a mental health crisis. The PET team works to help determine the best outcome for an individual in crisis.

The goal of this forum is to educate City Club members, the public and policy makers on new ways of dealing compassionately with people who suffer a mental health crisis and come into contact with law enforcement.

Related Info links:
Idaho Press article June 12, 2018 about Boise Crisis Center

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare blog post from September 18, 2017 introducing Pathways Community Crisis Center