5970-S2 AMH PS LEON 218
2SSB 5970 - H COMM AMD
By Committee on Public Safety
"NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 36.28A RCW to read as follows:
(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall develop and implement a mental health field response grant program. The purpose of the program is to assist local law enforcement agencies to establish and expand mental health field response capabilities, by utilizing mental health professionals to professionally, humanely, and safely respond to crises involving persons with behavioral health issues. The primary goals of mental health field response are treatment, diversion, and reduced incarceration time for those experiencing crisis. A portion of the grant funds may also be used to develop data management capability to support the program.
(2) (a) Grants must be awarded to local law enforcement agencies based on locally developed proposals to incorporate mental health professionals into the agencies' mental health field response planning and response. Two or more agencies may submit a joint grant proposal to develop their mental health field response proposals. Proposals must provide a plan for improving mental health field response and diversion from incarceration through modifying or expanding upon law enforcement practices in partnership with mental health professionals. A peer review panel appointed by the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs in consultation with integrated managed care organizations and behavioral health organizations must review the grant applications.
(b) Once the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs certifies that the application satisfies the proposal criteria, the grant funds will be distributed. To the extent possible, at least one grant recipient agency should be from the east side of the state and one from the west side of the state with the crest of the Cascades being the dividing line. The Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs may prioritize grant applications that include local matching funds.
(c) Grant recipients must be selected and receiving funds no later than October 1, 2018.
(3) Grant recipients must include at least one mental health professional who will perform professional services under the plan. A mental health professional may assist patrolling officers in the field or in an on-call capacity, provide preventative, follow-up, training on mental health field response best practices, or other services at the direction of the local law enforcement agency. Nothing in this subsection (3) limits the mental health professional's participation in field patrol. Grant recipients are encouraged to coordinate with local public safety answering points to maximize the goals of the program.
(4) Within existing resources, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall:
(a) Consult with the department of social and health services research and data analysis unit to establish data collection and reporting guidelines for grant recipients. The data will be used to study and evaluate whether the use of mental health field response programs improve outcomes of interactions with persons experiencing behavioral health crises, including reducing rates of violence and harm, reduced arrests, and jail or emergency room usage;
(b) Consult with the department of social and health services behavioral health administration and the managed care system to develop requirements for participating mental health professionals; and
(c) Coordinate with public safety answering points, behavioral health organizations, and the department of social and health services to develop and incorporate telephone triage criteria and dispatch protocols to assist with mental health, law enforcement, and emergency medical responses involving mental health situations.
(5) The Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall submit an annual report to the governor and appropriate committees of the legislature on the program. The report must include information on grant recipients, use of funds, participation of mental health professionals, and feedback from the grant recipients by December 1st of each year the program is funded.
(6) Grant recipients shall develop and provide or arrange for training necessary for mental health professionals to operate successfully and competently in partnership with law enforcement agencies. The training must provide the professionals with a working knowledge of law enforcement procedures and tools sufficient to provide for the safety of the professionals, partnered law enforcement officers, and members of the public.
(7) Nothing in this section prohibits the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs from soliciting or accepting private funds to support the program in this section."
Correct the title.
EFFECT: Modifies the stated purpose of the grant program by specifying that the program is for assisting local law enforcement agencies with establishing and expanding mental health field response capabilities (rather than developing and operating those capabilities). Removes references to mental health field response teams, and instead refers to mental health field response capabilities or programs. Specifies that the primary goals of mental health field response are treatment, diversion, and reduced incarceration time. Requires grant proposals to include a plan for diversion from incarceration.
Authorizes the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) to prioritize grants for law enforcement agencies with local matching funds.
Requires grant recipients to include at least one mental health professional (rather than a designated crisis responder).
Encourages grant recipients to coordinate with local public safety answering points (PSAPs) to maximize the goals of the program. Requires WASPC to coordinate with PSAPs, behavioral health organizations, and the Department of Social and Health Services to develop and incorporate telephone triage criteria and dispatch protocols to assist with mental health, law enforcement, and emergency medical responses involving mental health situations.
Specifies that the bill does not prohibit WASPC from soliciting or accepting private funds to support the grant program.
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