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Bexar County Aims To Improve Deputies' Mental Health Crisis Response, Prevent Violence

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Ryan Poppe
/
Texas Public Radio

Combat veteran Damian Daniels was shot and killed by a Bexar County Sheriff's Office deputy responding to a mental health call on Aug. 25.

In response, county officials are rolling out a program that will train deputies to identify mental health calls and reroute them to a unit specifically equipped to handle those kinds of crises, to prevent more unnecessary violence in law enforcement interactions with individuals experiencing mental health conditions.

The pilot program is a partnership between the Office of Criminal Justice, the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Acadian Ambulance and the Center for Health Care Services.

How will this alternate response model work? How are deputies being trained?

What are the goals and priorities of the program? How will the county measure its success?

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*This interview was recorded on Monday, October 5.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon