|In June 2012, through interagency collaboration, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal created an "Équipe de soutien aux urgences psychosociales", (Support Team for Psychosocial Emergencies, or STPE), which is comprised of social workers from the Jeanne-Mance health and social services centre and police officers. The team’s role is to support police work during interventions involving persons in crisis or those facing mental health issues. The team facilitates access for these persons to health, justice and community support services.
|This initiative has several objectives:
- support the work of frontline officers, with team members from health and social services playing an advisory role in police interventions;
- develop new practices to ensure that police interventions are better suited to people who are in crisis or facing mental health issues;
- increase collaboration between police and health and social service organizations;
- reduce the frequency and repetition of interventions with the same individuals; and
- reduce the time spent on these interventions by frontline officers so they can quickly return to other duties.
|The STPE has had several positive outcomes:
- The ability of police officers to help individuals who are in crisis situations or are mentally distressed has improved, promoting more beneficial resolutions.
- There is improved continuity of services and better follow-up, resulting in a drop in the total number of interventions.
- The work of frontline patrol officers is better supported, with social workers playing an advisory role and helping to stimulate the development of new practices.
- Situations are better documented and information sharing has improved among the affected authorities.
- The partners are developing a common understanding of the problems encountered, and building mutual trust.
|The costs associated with this initiative are associated with three police officers being assigned to the team, as well as physical resources and necessary materials (office, telephones, marked vehicle, etc.).
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