Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office forms Mental Health Task Force

Press release from Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

Contributed photo – Gwinnett County Mental Health Task Force

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Task Force, created in February 2021, is a trailblazer for law enforcement agencies in the area of mental health intervention.

As the first of its type, the Mental Health Task Force consists of a commander and professional counselor, clinical director, and extensively-trained deputies. This Task Force has undergone rigorous training in mental illness awareness and verbal and tactical de-escalation techniques. Their training includes 80 hours of de-escalation and intervention training, 80 hours of clinical curriculum studies, 20 hours of live scenario training, and 80 hours of Field Operations and Civil Processes training. Our goal is to always intervene with de-escalation techniques, which also makes encounters safer for our deputies and persons in crisis or potential criminal encounters.

The Mental Health Task Force also partners with multiple clinical and service organizations to provide resources for persons experiencing a mental health crisis during the episode, while in detention, and after release. Many times Mental Health Task Force deputies are able to intervene and prevent detention by utilizing specialized de-escalation techniques. This multi-pronged approach also helps the agency in combating the migration of the mentally ill population into the criminal justice system.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you do not have to suffer alone. For help, please contact the Georgia Crisis and Access Hotline at 1-800-715-4225. For direct inquiries regarding the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Task Force, please contact GCSOMHTaskForce@GwinnettCounty.com.

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