Designated Crisis Responders Helping Yakima Authorities
Authorities in Yakima deal with a lot of people with mental health problems on a daily basis. But since 2018 police officers and sheriff's deputies at the Yakima Police Department, Union Gap Police and Yakima County Sheriff's Office have partnered with Comprehensive Healthcare in an effort to help more people with mental challenges. Sheriff's spokesman Casey Schilperoort says mental health professionals or Designated Crisis Responders work alongside the officers and deputies helping people with mental issues on the spot evaluating people on the street without having to take them to the emergency room or police station to wait for mental health professionals.A wait that could take hours.
Schilperoort says the DCRs can provide officers other alternatives besides Jail for those who suffer from chronic conditions who would be better served by treatment services rather than Jail. And he says the the DCR helps to provide education to the officers on mental illness and substance use disorders, which helps the officers with future contacts.
6 designated crisis responders funded by a grant to Comprehensive Healthcare that could run out within the next year. County officials are hoping the Yakima County Commissioners will consider funding the DCR'S in 2020.