ROCHESTER, Minn. - A new Executive Order from President Trump is encouraging best policing practices.
It establishes a database to keep track of officers with excessive use of force complaints.
It also encourages co-responder programs. That's where social workers join police when they respond to nonviolent calls involving mental health, addiction and homeless issues.
The Olmsted County Sheriff's Department and Rochester Police Department have been working together for years to help address mental health crises during calls.
For the last two years they've embedded a social worker within the department as part of wider intervention and de-escalation efforts.
The departments are working on models to reduce the need for police intervention with people experiencing a mental health crisis.
So far, Captain Jeff Stilwell says the program has been an asset for everyone involved.
He explained, “Overall it's reducing the number of calls that we send to people in crisis, the number of times we send an officer to people in crisis. When we get there we've had great success in de-escalation, getting people to the appropriate resources and we intend to continue to build on that.”
Olmsted County is also building a mental health crisis center which will provide a safety net to help people in need of behavioral health services, not criminal ones.