The Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) is part of an ongoing effort at the Boise Police Department to better assist those facing a mental health crisis and connect them with needed social services. The BHRT consists of two sworn Behavioral Health Officers and two civilian Mental Health Coordinators. Together they are responsible for a number of duties including responding to related calls for service, developing training and policy for officers and coordinating with community partners.
Behavioral Health Response Team
The BHRT reviews all mental health crisis calls that officers respond to and determine cases that require additional follow up, coordinating with family members and mental health community partners to facilitate delivery of those service and reduce future law enforcement interventions.
Crisis Intervention Training includes lessons in Verbal De-escalation, interviewing techniques for special victims and use of force options with people in crisis. All BPD officers receive training to recognize the signs of mental illness and to respond appropriately and the Mental Health Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that training and policy is up to date.
The Mental Health Coordinator also conducts presentations for community partners and monitors legislative changes related to mental health issues and ensures our departments compliance with all applicable laws. The Mental Health Coordinator serves as the department's source for an accurate inventory of community partners and the services they provide.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline. You are not alone. Text or Call 1-208-398-4357 or 1-800-273-8255.
Law Enforcement Response to Mental Health Concerns
Each situation and risk is evaluated by the officer responding to determine the appropriate and safest response to every situation. Each call is handled based upon the totality of the individual circumstances.
Law Enforcement will evaluate each situation and the safety risk to the community and officers. This includes response to individuals reported to be suicidal. Law Enforcement Officers must have a lawful reason to be on a person’s private property.
Law Enforcement Officers cannot make anyone take their medication. Only a judge’s order can mandate medical treatment.
Law Enforcement cannot put an individual on a mental hold solely due to concerns of substance use; this is an exclusion in the code. A person’s threat to harm themselves or others must be an imminent threat.
Law Enforcement Officers want to assist you, but they have to follow the law.
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