Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $385,434)
The proposed study will consist of an experimental evaluation of a collaborative police-mental health mobile crisis team developed to co-respond to mental health-related calls in the Roanoke Valley region of Virginia. Researchers from George Mason University, in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies (Roanoke County Police Department (RCPD), Roanoke City Police Department, Salem Police Department, and Vinton Police Department), and the local Community Service Board (Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare) in the Roanoke Valley region of Virginia, propose a place-based cluster Randomized Control Trial (RCT) to evaluate the effects of the mobile crisis team response program on subsequent outcomes of persons with mental illness (PMI) who are involved in police calls for service.
The research team will analyze outcomes (i.e., issuances of temporary detention orders, police calls for service, treatment/referrals, and police use of force) using mixed-effects regression models. Mental health hot spots streets with a high frequency of mental health-related calls will be randomly assigned to treatment (mobile crisis co-response unit) or control (policing-as-usual) conditions. The overall goal of this project will be to develop and implement cost-effective interventions using evidenced-based approaches aimed at improving the lives of persons with mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse in the community, and enhance public safety and well-being of first responders. Letters of support from all of the participating agencies were provided in the application. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF