CRF Blog

A co-response unit might have made a difference in Isla Vista

by Bill Hayes

In A co-response unit might have made a difference in Isla Vista, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez looks at an innovative program in Los Angeles that might have prevented the Isla Vista killings.

Earlier this year, when a friend of mine made what was perceived as a physical threat to a neighbor, it wasn’t just the police who responded.

His case managers at Housing Works in Hollywood contacted a special unit that consists of both LAPD officers and county mental health workers. One of those teams paid a visit to my friend, who suffers from schizophrenia, and evaluated him. The result was that instead of ending up in jail, or left alone at risk to himself or others, he was hospitalized. He’s still undergoing treatment and is much improved, and is still being monitored by the team that responded initially. [more]