A Committment to training
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez implemented the largest training initiative in the history of the Harris County Sheriff's Office upon taking office in January 2017.
Starting in June 2017, all detention personnel and peace officers started receiving 40 hours of mental health training in their academies. At the time, the state mandate for mental health training was four hours for detention personnel and 16 hours for peace officers. Effective January 2018, the state mandate for mental health training for detention personnel increased to eight hours.
Effective April 2018, the state mandate for peace officers was increased to 40 hours.
Responding to individuals with mental illness in jail and on the streets is one of the most important criminal justice issues today. Under Sheriff Gonzalez's leadership, the Harris County Sheriff's Office has become a model agency for mental health training.
Integrated Communication, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) training from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Mandatory 16-hour scenario-based class for all certified and detentions personnel.
All new certified peace officers and detentions personnel receive 40-hours of mental health training. The class for detentions is specifically designed for jail personnel.
Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement. Evidence-based training from Georgetown Law. ABLE empowers deputies to feel comfortable with peer-to-peer intervention regardless of rank and further teaches deputies about wellness. Mandatory 8-hour scenario-based class for all certified and detention personnel.
Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD
Veterans Administration Hospital
NAMI Greater Houston
Peace of Mind Outreach
Easter Seals of Houston
Baylor College of Medicine
what They're Saying
I was not sure what this class was about when I first signed up to take it. However, I learned this is a much-needed class for everyone. This has been one of my favorite classes. The instructors were amazing.
This is the best class I have ever taken. The information will help me with my job and the instructors were amazing. I especially liked role-play scenarios. They were specifically designed for detention officers.
I was skeptical about taking this training. It soon won me over. I only wish I had this training ten years ago. This is training every patrol deputy and officer should have. It will help keep them and the consumers they are responding to safe.
personnel receiving behavioral health training by year
An evaluation of ICAT was conducted by researchers from the University of Cincinnati. Using a randomized control study design, the team looked at the impact of ICAT among officers in the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. The findings are impressive.
use of force
The study found a 28% reduction in use of force incidents.
The study found a 26% decline in citizen injuries.
The study found a 36% decline in officer injuries.
Now more than ever, communities across the country, and the law enforcement agencies that serve those communities are recognizing those first responders must do a better job intervening when necessary to prevent their colleagues from causing harm or making costly mistakes.
ABLE instructors trained
U.S. states represented