Master of Arts
This research paper provided insight and the history surrounding the mental health epidemic in the United States, the burden that is placed upon the law enforcement profession and offered strategies to address to the problem. The paper offered suggestions on how the various strategies can be implemented within a law enforcement organization, considering funding, personnel, and policy and procedure. The paper offered research surrounding several response methods for law enforcement to utilize when responding to calls involving mental health factors, the ethics concerns surrounding the response methods, and offered suggestions on how organizations can begin to implement new response methods with special attention focused upon the stakeholders involved, policy adaptations, and how to create organizational buy-in. Finally, this paper analyzed the legal and legislative concerns surrounding law enforcement’s response to mental health related calls, the strategies available to address these concerns, and the ways in which dispatchers, mental health workers, and law enforcement can work collaboratively to fulfill the legal and legislative requirements.