CMPD Community Policing Response Team helps neighbors in need

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's community policing crisis response team, or CPCRT, has made major progress within the area in its two and a half months in action.

So far, team members have dealt face to face with at least 250 people in crisis.

"From the tragedies at UNCC to the Steak 'n Shake shooting, this unit has been on the ground making a real difference," said LaKeshia Ginn, who partners with CPCRT.  "We have been working to engage, stabilize, support, follow up on, and connect those needing immediate services."

So far, at least 250 people in crisis have benefited from the new CMPD program.

"66 percent of those consumers did not go to a hospital or jail," said CMPD Major Nelson Bowling.  "Meaning, we got them what they needed without taking one of those two measures."

In addition, 27 percent of the 250 people went to a psychiatric facility, and only two of the 250 people in crisis went to jail.

"70 percent of those consumers showed an improvement after intervention," Major Bowling said.

The crisis response team launched at the end of April with a  goal to decrease injuries and reduce the number of mentally ill people who end up incarcerated or hospitalized.

The teams have responded to major incidents like the shooting at UNC Charlotte and Steak 'n Shake.

"The teams arrived on scene once it was safe and assessed, providing resources and doing clinical stress management in terms of what people could expect over the days and weeks to come," said Ginn.  "So, supportive mechanisms to help in the days and weeks to come."

"What's been unexpected, is the number of folks out there needing this help," said Major Bowling.  "We are lucky and fortunate to be able to provide it."

There have been no injuries to any team members and the individuals in crisis are followed up on to make sure they're receiving the treatment they need.

So far, the teams have provided more than 1,300 referrals.