The Impact of Mental Health Resources on Police Officer Action [2020]

Concern over interactions between the police and public is more prevalent today than ever before. Specifically, the number of interactions between the police and individuals with mental health disorders (MHD) has increased as the resources from the mental health systems continue to decrease. To better understand these interactions, this paper focuses on police response to mental health calls for service (MHCFS), with specific attention to resources available for officers. Using factorial surveys, police responses from departments across the USA were analyzed using hierarchical linear mixed modeling. The results suggest the availability of mental health resources are significant predictors in the actions taken by police. Implications are clear, police require more mental health-related resources available to them at the scene.

Kayla G. Jachimowski, Carley J. Smathers, Lindsey N. Smathers & Ryan J. Lemmon
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology,04 July 2020