Report: Indio police struggle with ‘response to homeless with mental health issues’

The Indio Police Department has made strides over the years responding to calls about the homeless throughout the community and directing them to resources. However, challenges remain, according to a recent report from the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Quality of life officers are typically paired when answering calls and are “not trained to respond to specific mental health situations,” according to the report.

It also states that “Having the psychiatrist a ride helped, but unfortunately IPD will have to hire a new clinician to provide this resource.”

The report also found that “even with these challenges, there is strong evidence that Housing First programs that focus on providing (but not demanding) services can reduce homelessness.”

Background information on CORP
Faced with these longstanding concerns about homelessness, the CORP program began in
2015 to address chronic homelessness issues. The program took and continues to take a two-pronged approach to homelessness. The first stage involved the assignment of two Native American police officers
Department (IPD) officials work full-time on homelessness and quality of life issues (now
three officers using funds from this grant). The grant also provided funds for an intellectual
Physician to work directly with the QOL officers. The clinician went to work
Team in 2019 but has since left due to a new position. At the time of this report, IPD
Working with county to hire new clinician. We describe the work of this quality from
Life (QOL) Officers more in our IPD results section.

ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Watch News Channel 3 at 6pm tonight to hear how IPD plans to address the shortcomings identified in the report and how it plans to further strengthen successful aspects of its programme.

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