S.M.A.R.T team is an asset to the community
Interactions between law enforcement and individuals dealing with mental health crises have continued to be a problem all over the country. Recently in June of 2022, 22-year-old Christian Glass was fatally shot after calling 911 asking for assistance after his car was stuck close to Idaho Springs, relatively close to Summit County. Evidence after the death shows Glass was clearly suffering from mental health issues, and policies and procedures were not followed by the officers involved. While the officers have since been charged, these interactions prove that the S.M.A.R.T (System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team) of Summit County is a vital asset in improving the system on a local level.
In January of 2020, Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons and team launched their first S.M.A.R.T team. Each team consists of a law enforcement technician, mental health clinician, and a case manager. The goal of the SMART team is to intervene on mental health related police calls and assist in de-escalating the situation. Case managers also assist in helping the individual involved in the call receive the help they need for mental health services, substance abuse resources, housing and more.
The S.M.A.R.T team has proved highly successful since it was established. Situations that may have led to arrest, hospitalization or even death have resolved peacefully with continued support for the individuals in mental health crisis. The SMART team is dispatched when appropriate from 911, Colorado Crisis Center, and the Summit County non-emergency line.
When to call 911:
– Someone is in immediate danger
– Encounters someone who is violent or with a weapon
– Someone has ingested something, bleeding, or needs assistance from injury or accident
– Property Damage is witnessed or has occurred
When to call Colorado Crisis Center: 844-493-8255
– Someone is having suicidal thoughts or mental health distress
Summit County non-emergency line: 970-668-8600
– All other calls
Calls from Colorado Crisis Center and local 911 dispatch are screened and dispatch appropriate responses from the S.M.A.R.T team as needed. S.M.A.R.T team will respond to emergency and non-emergency calls.
The Summit County S.M.A.R.T team continues to thrive and be an asset to our community, growing from one team to four and accommodating 24/7 support. Not only has the program seen high success rates with rehabilitation after the initial incident, the program has saved the community money in emergency responses and contributed to lowering our suicide rates.
According to the S.M.A.R.T team 2022 Annual Report:
– 1383 S.M.A.R.T calls in the Community
– 1462 Mental Health Assessments
– 1986 Case Management Calls to receive additional support and services
– 95% calls diverted from the ER
– 857 first responders cleared from calls
– 48 Scholarships provided for immediate therapy
Thank you Summit County S.M.A.R.T team for all you have done for our community!