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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
City of Houston
News Release
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Houston, Harris County, MHMRA Announce Joint Crisis Intervention Response Team

 

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, HPD Executive Assistant Chief Kirk Munden and MHMRA Official Barbara Dawson today (Oct. 27) joined with law enforcement officers and clinicians from the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA) to announce a joint Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) that will serve the entire Houston/Harris County region.

 

The new inter-local agreement, approved by Harris County Commissioners Court and Houston City Council, allows the Harris County Sheriff's Office to join with HPD and MHMRA's already existing CIRT program.  The joint approach will allow resources to be combined throughout the city and county in an effort to reach the needs of the mental health community throughout the entire Harris County area.

 

"A collaborative effort to help residents of both Houston and Harris County is long overdue," said Mayor Annise Parker. "This one-of-a-kind agreement will help improve our service to the community during emergency situations. We are once again paving the way to more a more efficient, common-sense approach that other cities can emulate."

 

HPD Executive Assistant Chief Kirk Munden said, "We are excited this collaboration will reach more citizens and will continue to set the standard for how law enforcement and mental health clinicians can work together to assist those experiencing serious mental health crises."

 

Since its inception in May 2008, the Crisis Intervention Response Team has responded to over 14,000 CIT calls for service and filed over 4,600 emergency detention orders.  Only less than 1% of all crisis situations have resulted in an unavoidable arrest.

 

Citizens seeking more information about CIRT can go to http://www.houstontx.gov/police/pdfs/cit_rep10.pdf.




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