Community News
Building Relationships Key to Success
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 11 page 18-18

Since March 2004, when the first group of Rochester police officers joined the Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team (EDPRT), the team has responded to more than 300 calls, according to Sgt. Eric Weaver, the team's commander.

As they respond to a potentially dangerous situation involving a person who may be mentally ill—a suicide threat, for instance—EDPRT members are trained to take their time. "We are not in a hurry. It may take time to get someone to walk peacefully out of their home if they are in potential danger," he said.

In many cases, EDPRT officers escort people to one of Rochester's psychiatric facilities for evaluation or hospitalization, where the officers discuss with psychiatric staff the nature of their interaction with the patient.

In addition, officers conduct a follow-up meeting with patients at their homes shortly after they are released from the psychiatric facility. "We knock on the door and ask how they are doing, how things went at the hospital, and if they have follow-up appointments for mental health care," Weaver explained. "It's a brief visit, but it has been tremendously beneficial.... If we have to deal with that person again, a relationship has been established."

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