March 25, 2021CONTACT:
Elisa Bubak, Public Information OfficerT
(209) 468-2400 | E Elisa.Bubak@sjcda.org
District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar Leads the Discussion for Crisis Response Unit Model In San Joaquin County
Stockton, CA - This week, San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tom Patti and District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar visited Olympia, Washington to learn from and shadow the Olympia Police Department's Crisis Response Unit. District Attorney Verber Salazar is joined by Stockton Police Department Deputy Chief Eric Kane, Tracy Police Department Corporal Steve Blair, SJC Community Member Cindy Basso, and San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office Policy and Planning Director Kayce Rane.
Olympia Police Department's Crisis Response Unit (CRU) is comprised of non-sworn individuals who partner with police officers in response to low-risk, non-violent calls including non-emergency medical calls, transporting individuals to services and shelters, homeless outreach, and more. The CRU is responsible for providing immediate assistance to those in crisis, and has proven to be successful for Olympia Police Department in the co-responder model. Whether it is transporting houseless individuals to a shelter or an individual in need of behavioral health services, the CRU assumes responsibility over the non-violent, low-risk calls to assist in Olympia Police Department officers' ability to focus on emergent, and potentially violent, calls for service. San Joaquin County is looking at adopting this model to respond to families in crisis, as well as reduce the number of people living on the street.
"The call for change surrounding responses to people in need of crisis assistance has resonated nationwide," said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. "A Crisis Response Unit is a team that would address the needs of the community- such as mental health, substance abuse, family harm- and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crime. The model Olympia Police Department has adopted is one of the most progressive and innovative to help individuals in crisis, as well as lessening the sheer number of responsibilities law enforcement officers are tasked with. The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office is working with our local law enforcement partners to shape this model to benefit San Joaquin County with the intent to assist in healing and victim prevention."
The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office thanks Olympia Police Department and their Crisis Response Unit for their hospitality, as well as our local law enforcement agencies who attended alongside District Attorney Verber Salazar.