“COAST to COAST”
Bridging the gap between law
enforcement and the community
Presented by:
Albuquerque Police Department’s
CRISIS OUTREACH & SUPPORT TEAM
(COAST)
Goals and Objectives
What is COAST?
 Best Practices- Engage, Assess, and
Resolve
 Strategies to build or enhance your
community based program
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COAST-What is it?
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Crisis Outreach and Support Team
Civilian Unit
Created to:
 Enhance the Albuquerque Police
Department’s Crisis Intervention Team
(CIT).
 Provide crisis intervention to people through
direct referrals from field officers.
 On scene response to field officer’s request
for assistance.
 Follow up calls or visits from officer’s report.
Why COAST?
People cycle in and out of crisis causing
repeated calls to police for non-law
enforcement issues.
 Proactive resource in decreasing unsafe
situations for individuals, the community,
and law enforcement.
 Linking these people to services and
resources is the best way to minimize these
calls for police service.
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COAST- its conception
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July, 2003 APD Sgt. Carol Oleksak was
shot by Duc Pham, a man with history of
 Homelessness
 Untreated mental illness
 Over 50 Misdemeanor arrests
 (released because no proof he was
dangerous)
 Incompetent to stand trial-every case!
 No supportive services
Sgt. Carol Oleksak
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returned to police
department to finish up
her 20 year career
advocate for people living
with mental illness
has forgiven and states
“It’s not that they’re
criminal. They need to
have some sort of help.”
Crisis Calls for Change
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In early 2004, Mayor Martin Chavez of
Albuquerque calls for a summit of leaders from:
 City government
 Law enforcement
 Healthcare service providers including mental
health and homeless services.
 Court system
 Citizens
MAYOR’S SUMMIT
Summit addressed:
 How the City of Albuquerque can better
address the issues of mental illness and
homelessness.
 Identify the gaps in services for mental
health consumers
 Negative perceptions and relationships
between service providers and police
officers.
 Resolution for “blame” (persons rights vs
safety for self and others)
Outcomes of Summit
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City of Alb. Implemented pilot project =
COAST
Civilian project
City and police department begin looking at
new ways to address old problems.
 City deploys its first ACT Team
(Assertive Community Treatment Team)
 City funds Housing First Program
Rising to the Occasion - 6 mos. later
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“Bridging the Gap” between law enforcement
and service providers
 City of Albuquerque houses COAST under
APD
 APD begins new initiatives to address
mental health, at risk individuals and
families, and homelessness
 Connect to Care
 Strategic Outreach Team
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Strong partnership begins
First recognition
http://youtu.be/itP72vglcLk
COAST Interventions/Supports
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Crisis Outreach & Support Team
 Can link to low cost or free services
(counseling, case management,
psychiatric services, community
resources).
 Can do follow up- home visits, phone
calls, calls for service, provider f/u
COAST Provides
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Crisis Intervention, Assessment, Stabilization,
& Referrals:
•Mental Health Issues
•The Homeless
•Substance Abuse
•Basic Needs
•Elderly Issues
•Family Issues
Crisis Intervention & Response
COAST Psychiatrist
CIT Officers
Adult Protective
Services
Senior Affairs
Mental Health
Mental Health Facility
MATS
MOTU
Turquoise Lodge
C.O.A.S.T.
(Link / Refer)
Human Service Div.
Social Security
Outreach
St. Martins
Health Insurance
AHCH
Housing
Joy Junction
Food
VA (Veterans)
Best Practice for Crisis Intervention
= Engage, Access & Resolve (EAR)

Paul Lilley - EAR model
(used for de-escalating mentally ill and
other populations)
Paul Lilley’s CIT’s EAR model from “Perfecting (HA! HA!) de-escalation skills”
Engage – goal is to gain rapport
How you are presenting yourself
 Introduce yourself, ask for the person’s
name
 State the reason you are there in a way that
builds trust (make it about safety and
empathy)
 Scene management – remove distractions,
upsetting influences, and disruptive people
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Assessment – goal is to gather
information needed
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Ruling out/in mental illness
Medical or drug/alcohol issues
Was a crime committed
Assess lethality if suicide or depression is an issue
Talk to others at the scene
Trust the experts! (family members or support can
be a great source of information)
Resolution – goal is voluntary compliance
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Decide on a course of action
 Informal resolution
 ER room
 Mental Health
 Hospital
 Jail
Forecast – tell the person what you are going to do
Leading – tell them what you expect and what you
need from them
KNOW YOUR RESOURCES!
Police officers have many tools in their
toolbox. Know the resources available for
which problems to be most effective.
 Effective problem solvers make less calls
for service for everybody!!
 Moving people on has absolutely no effect!
 Arrest and citation are not your only tools!
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USE COAST…
COAST- call out
First officers must make the scene safe;
 Ensure there are no weapons involved.
 COAST cannot respond to combative
subjects.
 COAST cannot respond to highly
intoxicated subjects or subjects with
medical needs.
 Officers must stay at the scene until the
COAST crisis specialist arrives and then
brief them.
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In a nutshell….
COAST is a resource for officer; they can
help with calls that do not pose a danger to
public safety.
 Police officers deal with people who are in
crisis and homeless. Know your resources
and how to access them.
 Linking people in crisis to resources and
services is the best way to minimize
repeated calls for police service.
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COAST - Where are we now?
Staff
 Stats
 Success stories
 Alb Heading Home Project
 PERF recommendations
 Mental Health Summit
 Training
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APD’s CIT and COAST Team
Staff consists of:
6 full-time COAST employees (crisis
specialists)
 Work in sync with 6 CIT detectives, over
125 CIT field officers, and one full-time
psychiatrist
 1 full-time COAST employee is assigned to
Albuquerque Heading Home project
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Daily Stats
Crisis Types-Needs
Basic Needs
Child Care
Clothing
Food
Housing
Transportation
Benefits
Other Crisis Categories
CNAU displacement
Death Related/Grief
Elder Issues
Family Relations
Hoarding
Homelessness
Missing Person
Neighbor Problems
Runaway
Teen Issue
Tangible Data & Progress
2006- total people served ~ 1,447
Referrals from police~ 550
2011- total people served ~ 5,252
Referrals from police ~ 780
SUCCESS STORIES
Lady who lived in a shoe
 Library baby sits
 Mr. Good / Mr. Bad
 Mr. Telephone man
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Albuquerque Heading Home Project
(http://www.abqheadinghome.org/)
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City of Albuquerque teams up with private agencies to
try to end homelessness.
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Aims to house the most vulnerable of Albuquerque’s
citizens experiencing homelessness.
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Goal is to house 75 persons/families this year
Albuquerque Heading Home Project
http://youtu.be/aU4jtoznOtQ
Proactive NOT Reactive
Increase of police shootings had the
community concerned and asking WHY?
 APD/City hired an outside agency = Police
Executive Research Forum (PERF),Washington,
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DC.
PERF Recommendations
“…………Each of these initiatives represents and exemplary
effort by the department to ensure that persons suffering
from mental illness or emotional disturbances are handled
in the most appropriate manner.”
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COAST recommendation - after CIT meets, debriefs, and
scene is stable, COAST should reach out to the person
and/or his/her family. This could decrease the negative
perceptions and reactions between the police and this
family in the future.
SUMMIT
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Police Department initiated and hosted first annual
mental health summit in conjunction with the
Forensic Intervention Consortium (FIC)
To address the concerns of consumers and
families to prevent potential tragedies with law
enforcement
Continue the partnership between all stakeholders
Network and build more relationships
SUMMIT OUTCOMES
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Developed “IDEAS” – a mental health guide
Created a facebook page for APD CIT and
COAST
Implemented certified peer support training
related to courts and corrections for consumers in
jail
Provide COAST/CIT contact information to all
hospitals, jails, courts, and public defenders office
Improve dispatch training
TRAINING
HB93
 cadets
 service providers
 other law enforcement agencies
 facilitate CIT scenarios
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How do you build or enhance your
community based program?
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SOP
Job requirements & training
On-call- protocol for field & FAC
Program structure
Funding
Public Relations – bridging the gap
Questions
Albuquerque Police Department
400 Roma NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(505) 924-6000
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COAST-What is it? - CIT International Conference