Community Behavioral Health Assessment Team
The Murrieta Police Department’s Community Policing Team has joined with the Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health Department to form a collaborative Community Behavioral Health Assessment Team (CBAT). Measure T funding allows the Murrieta Police Department’s CBAT unit to team a specially trained police officer with a County of Riverside clinical therapist to respond to calls for law enforcement service involving mental health issues in our community. The officer and therapist ride together in the same patrol car 40 hours per week. At each call they handle, the therapist takes the lead role in evaluating the behavioral health issue while the officer provides the safety over-watch and law enforcement expertise.
CBAT seeks to avoid adverse outcomes by diverting individuals with mental health issues to appropriate community services and behavioral health resources. By providing specialized training to CBAT officers and by focusing their scope of responsibilities, the Murrieta Police Department intends to provide more in-depth assistance to people in need of behavioral health services. CBAT also augments the Community Policing Team’s homeless outreach efforts. Murrieta Police CBAT exemplifies the increasingly crucial partnerships between police and the communities they serve, delivering the needed social services required to keep our community safe.
In an effort to significantly increase our CBAT service delivery, The Murrieta Police Department and the Riverside Sheriff’s Department (Temecula Station) have partnered their CBAT programs. Both agencies have a memorandum of understanding in place that allows CBAT services to be delivered in both cities. RSO CBAT trained Deputies respond to Murrieta calls for service when available and Murrieta CBAT trained Officers respond to Temecula calls for service as well. We recognize the significant community advantages realized when partnering each other’s mental health efforts and we are benefitting from the partnership through information sharing and training.