How the Denver Sheriff Department is improving in-custody mental health services
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How the Denver Sheriff Department is improving in-custody mental health services

Law enforcement officers are often placed in situations where they encounter individuals with mental illness. There are varying degrees of response to a law officers’ presence, from compliant and docile, to combative or assaultive. Training that equips officers with the skill set required to deal with these individuals appropriately is important. Once an individual has been controlled or transported, they may be taken to a professional psychiatric detention and treatment facility, or to a locked detention facility for processing. What happens next varies from agency to agency.

In this episode of the Policing Matters podcast, host Jim Dudley speaks with Dr. Nikki Johnson, the first chief of mental health services for the Denver Sheriff Department in Colorado. Dr. Johnson was hired in January 2021 to drive the strategy and performance of the mental health services provided within the Denver Sheriff Department, which is the largest provider of psychiatric services in Denver.

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