Categories: Breaking News

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

The Indio Police Department has made progress over the years in responding to calls about homelessness throughout the community and directing them to resources, but challenges remain, according to a report recently released by the School of ASU Criminology and Criminal Justice.

According to the report, quality of life officers are often paired when responding to calls and “are not trained to respond to certain mental health situations.”

He also states that “having the mental health practitioner driving with them helped, but unfortunately IPD needs to hire a new physician 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 requiring) services can reduce homelessness.”

Background of CORP
With these longstanding concerns about homelessness in mind, the CORP program began
2015 to address issues of chronic homelessness. The program adopted and continues to adopt a two-pronged approach to homelessness. The first point involved the assignment of two Indian policemen
Departmental Officers (IPD) to work full-time on homelessness and quality of life issues (now
three officers, using funding from this grant). The grant also provided funding for a mental
health practitioner to work directly with QOL officers. The doctor began to work with him
team in 2019, but has since left due to a new position. At the time of this report, IPD was
working with the county to bring on a new doctor. We describe the work of these qualities of
quality of life (QOL) more in our IPD results section.

ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Tune into News Channel 3 tonight at 6:00 PM to hear how IPD plans to address the deficiencies found in the report and how it plans to continue to strengthen the aspects of its program that are successful.

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