Pursuant to Paragraphs 154 through 156 of the Consent Decree, a host of the Decree’s other substantive requirements, and the Updated First-Year Monitoring Plan, the City of Cleveland (the “City”) has submitted a revised Crisis Intervention Policy and Procedure (the “CIT Policy”) to the Monitor. The term crisis intervention refers to those law enforcement interactions involving individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, such as mental health, substance abuse, or other long-term behavioral health challenges.
As required by the Consent Decree in Paragraphs 132 through 134, the City established a Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (“Advisory Committee”) to address and coordinate crisis intervention issues with the Division. The City in turn partnered with the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Service Board of Cuyahoga County (“ADAMHS Board”) to develop the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consists of members of the community, including mental health professionals, advocates, individuals recovering from mental illness and addiction disorders, Cleveland’s Municipal Court, the State of Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (“CJCCOE”), and representatives from the City and CPD. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Monitoring Team were invited to participate in the Advisory Committee as well. The Advisory Committee has met regularly and has worked hard to “foster relationships and build support between the police, the community and mental health providers."
The Monitoring Team has closely reviewed the proposed crisis intervention policy. The CIT Policy submitted to the Monitor makes it clear that a “crisis intervention response may be necessary even in situations where there has been an apparent law violation.” Consent Decree ¶ 154. It provides that specialized CIT officers will “have appropriate discretion to direct individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues to the health care system.” Consent Decree ¶ 155. Additionally, the policy makes it clear that specialized CIT officers, when available, must be dispatched to all calls or incidents that appear to involve an individual in crisis. Consent Decree ¶ 156. Because the City has submitted a CIT Policy that has met the requirements and objectives of the Consent Decree, the Monitoring Team recommends approval of the policy subject to the conditions regarding the completion of certain attachments discussed below.