MCPA - A majority of Minnesota police chiefs report an increase in the number of calls for service where individuals are in a state of emotional crisis. According to a survey of more than 300 voting MCPA members, approximately 20 percent of local, municipal agencies have seen a 50 percent increase in the number of mental health related calls over the last five years. A Star Tribune survey of nine of the state’s largest law enforcement agencies found that such calls have increased an average of 34 percent in the past six years.

MCPA will explore the issue from a wide range of viewpoints later this year at a Critical Issues Forum.  The event, hosted in partnership with Nexus, will be held Wednesday, December 13th at Bloomington's Schneider Theater.  It will examine the events, incidents and policy decisions that have resulted in this trend. It will also focus on what some local law enforcement agencies are doing to address the mental health issues and where real solutions exist.

At least 45 percent of the people who have died in forceful encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota since 2000 had a history of mental illness or were in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to a Star Tribune report, published in June of 2016. The Treatment Advocacy Center, a Virginia nonprofit that advocates for better care of the mentally ill, reports people with severe, untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed in a police encounter.

This troubling trend has resulted in a variety of serious challenges for law enforcement leaders and the communities they serve.  Police chiefs at agencies large and small, urban and rural are asking themselves how to better train officers to handle such calls and how to best manage available resources in order to treat these individuals with dignity and respect.

Below is the agenda for the forum to be held at the Bloomington Center for the Arts – Schneider Theater on December 13th from 1 pm – 5 pm. If you are interested in attending the forum, please register through this link.   The registration deadline is Friday, December 1st.
MCPA Critical Issues Forum:  Law Enforcement Solutions to the Mental Health Crisis
December 13 1 - 5 p.m. Bloomington Schneider Theater
  1.         Introductions
  2.         What’s the extent of the problem?
    •        An overview of the issue facing Minnesota law enforcement agencies (MCPA)
  3.        How did we get here?
    •        A history of the Mental Health system in Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
  4.        What is it like to live through it?– A personal story through the law enforcement system for an individual suffering from mental illness
  5.        What are we doing today? Law Enforcement Models 
    •       Embedded social workers - Duluth Police
    •       Outsourced social workers - Minneapolis Police
    •       Dispatch Triage - Ramsey County
    •       Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) – Shakopee Police
  6.       Where do we go from here?  A panel discussion centered on solutions
    •       Legislative – Rep. Nick Zerwas (R) Elk River
    •       Pre-Service Education – Mary Vukelich, Century College
    •       Training options – Nathan Gove, Minnesota POST Board
    •       Mental Health Advocacy – Sue Abderholden, Executive Director NAMI
    •       Practitioners - Brock Wolff, CEO, Nexus
  7.       Takeaways and final thoughts

About Nexus
Nexus is a national, nonprofit, 501©3 organization that provides youth and family mental health solutions to nearly 1,000 youth and families each day through a continuum of services that range from in-home, community-based care to residential treatment and inpatient care. The organization currently operates eight business units in five states.