Public School Based Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Response Teams
According to one website, “One in five youth live with a mental health condition, but less than half of these individuals receive needed services. Undiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a student’s ability to learn, grow and develop” (“Mental health in schools,” n.d., para. 2). It is the responsibility of school based law enforcement officers to identify these individuals in an effort to assist them if a crisis occurs and protect the community that they serve. This includes students, staff, or visitors who may have a diagnosable mental illness. The purpose of this research was to identify the need for public school based law enforcement agencies to have their own designated crisis intervention response teams to deal with members of the school community in the event one of them should experience a mental crisis. In order to assess the need for designated crisis intervention response teams for school based law enforcement agencies, the following areas were examined: officer safety, the need to serve the mentally ill population, and the education of the community about mental health. Information was also gathered on the statistics concerning the average age that students are diagnosed with mental illness and the effect that it can have on them if not handled appropriately. The study concluded that for the safety of the officers and the community that they serve, all school-based law enforcement agencies should have their own designated crisis intervention response teams.