Downey Police adds mental health officers to patrol

DOWNEY – The Downey Police Department now has two full-time mental health officers on staff to help people experiencing mental health issues, thanks to a new partnership between Downey and L.A. County.

Two designated patrol officers will be teamed up with two mental health health clinicians from the L.A. County Department of Mental Health. These officers have received specialized training in mental health and will be responsible in handling any mental health-related calls for service.

The two teams will also be proactive in engaging the homeless population and working closely with the various outreach organizations in Downey and Los Angeles County.

“The implementation of this new program allows our Downey police officers to better assist some of our most vulnerable community members, including our homeless population,” said Mayor Rick Rodriguez.

Mayor Pro Tem Blanca Pacheco called the program “a great collaborative effort between our own Downey Police Department and the county, which not only trains officers to safely and effectively respond to people with mental illness, but also helps build a positive rapport among these individuals.”