Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 14, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:1











LOS ANGELES COUNTY – To help prevent use-of-force incidents 
and improve outcomes for individuals with mental health issues, 
the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by 
Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Mark Ridley-Thomas which seeks 
to expand the number of Mental Evaluation Teams (MET teams) 
from 10 to 23. 

 “Proactive and compassionate engagement that includes a 
mental health expert will reduce confrontations and provide access 
to treatment for individuals in crisis instead of incarceration,” said 
Supervisor Barger. “Expanding this vital program will also help 
law enforcement in its effort to avoid use of deadly force, protect 
the public, save lives and money.” 

 “These MET teams provide a proven and effective approach 
in dealing with individuals suffering from mental illness,” said 
Supervisor and Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It makes 
perfect sense that we expand this program to ensure success 
throughout the County.”

 MET teams consist of a mental health clinician paired with 
a Sheriff’s Deputy who respond to emergency calls involving 
psychiatric crisis or critical incidents and provide immediate 
assistance to those in need. Los Angeles County was the first in the 
nation to develop co-response teams as a pilot program in the early 
1990s. Since MET service began in January, 1993, the Department 
of Mental Health has partnered with 35 law enforcement agencies, 
including the Los Angeles Police Department, to develop more 
than 80 co-response teams. 

 MET teams responded to 1,154 calls for service during FY2015-
2016. Of these calls, 64% resulted in hospitalizations for mental 
health treatment and less than 1% resulted in an arrest proving that 
these teams reduce adverse outcomes and prioritize treatment over 

 Recent publicized reports describing con-frontations between 
law enforcement personnel and individuals with untreated 
mental illness reveals the severity of the problem. Although most 
interactions between law enforcement and those with mental illness 
end peacefully, it is estimated that 10% of law enforcement calls 
involve individuals who are mentally ill -- and such interactions 
carry a high risk. In situations where minor crimes are driven 
by mental illness, rather than criminal tendencies, diversion into 
treatment – including psychiatric hospitalization – is a more 
effective response. 

By Joan Schmidt

The Community Mediation Team is a partnership of Committed 
Monrovia, Duarte and L.A. County Leaders and Stakeholders 
who identify, assess, and address the needs of individuals and 
families, who reside or work in our communities, through effective 
communications and proper resource matching. CMT, a grassroots 
team is, open to all community members and is a safe venue for 
discussion and information sharing.

 The Meeting Facilitators are Larry Spicer, Co-Chair Monrovia, 
Lois Gaston, Co-Chair Duarte, and Lillian Cabral, Co-Chair from 
the County area. 

 Larry Spicer is Monrovia’s Mayor Pro tem; Lois Gaston, past 
Duarte Mayor and Council Member. Other elected officials 
included Duarte Mayor Margaret Finlay, Mayor Pro-Tem John 
Fasana, Council Members Tzeitel Paras-Caracci and Liz Reilly, 
Duarte School Board Member Tom Reyes, and Monrovia-Arcadia 
–Duarte Town Council Vice Chair/ Monrovia School Board Vice
President Terrence Williams.

 Law Enforcement included Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt, 
Captain Alan Sanvictores and Chaplain Terrence Brown; from the 
Sheriff’s Department Temple Station Commander Captain Corone 
Jacob, Sgt. Kearny from the Duarte Station, and Lt. Bishop and Sgt. 
Richardson from OSS (Operations Safe Street).

 Kevin Paris from the Probation Department, and members of 
the Clergy, various agencies and concerned citizens attended from 
Pasadena and Altadena.

 Monrovia Police Chief Hunt gave a briefing on the December 28 
shooting on Alta Vista Drive. (Please visit this publication’s website )

 LASD Captain Jacob related that Temple Station is working 
with Altadena Station, and Pasadena PD concerning the area 
shootings. OSS Lt. Bishop said that the Sheriff’s Department has 
pulled personnel from other areas and there have been 8 additional 
detectives on Saturday and 10 on Sunday following the shooting in 
Duarte. This was reiterated by Brian Villalobos from Duarte Public 
Safety Office.

 Normally these meetings are on Mondays at 5:30 pm; this 
emergency meeting was called on a Wednesday because of the 
recent increase in shootings in our areas. Aida Torres from the 
Public Safety Office explained that the City of Duarte is applying 
for a special grant that would last from June 16, 2017-August 15, 
2020. It would provide Mental Health Services and Substance Use 
Disorder Treatment and Prevention Programs for people in the 
Criminal Justice System. 

 To apply for this grant funding, the City of Duarte must develop 
a Local Advisory Committee that includes local stakeholders who 
have experience and expertise in the prospective programs and/or 
services to be implemented by the proposal.

 Duarte Public Safety Office is asking for help to reach all 
stakeholders impacted by the proposal to join them. They need 
representatives with knowledge on Adult Education, community 
trade schools, Housing Mental Health Professionals and more.

The next meeting of the CMT-Community Mediation Team is 5:30 
pm, Monday, January 23, 2017. The meeting usually lasts an hour. 
Immediately following the CMT meeting, the Proposition 47 Local 
Advisory Committee will meet. Please contact Aida Torres at the 
Duarte Public Safety Office for further information. (626)359-5671, 
Ext. 316 or a2Torres@lasd,org 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: