Pilot Program to Assist those with Mental Health Issues

May 13, 2008 - The Houston Police Department will be conducting a six-month pilot program entitled the “Crisis Intervention Response Team.” The CIRT’s first day of operation was Monday, May 5. The CIRT combines an HPD Crisis Intervention Team officer with a licensed mental health clinician, and allows them to respond to calls with persons with a mental illness in need of assistance.

The pilot program is based out of the South Central Patrol Division and will encompass areas of the east, southeast, Clear Lake and central areas of the city. However, the CIRT will be available to respond citywide when a supervisor at a police call feels the presence of a team member is necessary.

The objectives for the CIRT are:

  • Provide assistance to patrol officers on calls (or contacts) dealing with persons in need of mental health assessment or intervention.
  • Provide appropriate follow-up for previous contacts and/or referrals from patrol officers or the Mental Health Unit.
  • Conduct proactive investigations involving homeless mentally ill persons and direct them to appropriate services.
  • Utilize problem oriented policing strategies to identify "hot spot" areas and address chronic consumers who frequently come to the attention of law enforcement.
  • Respond to special threat situations.

“The Houston Police Department is committed to providing a professional and humane response to persons in a mental health crisis and who have come to the attention of law enforcement,” said Lieutenant Michael Lee, supervisor for the Crisis Intervention Team and Crisis Intervention Response Team.

For more information regarding the HPD Crisis Intervention Team and Crisis Intervention Response Team, visit the teams’ Web site at www.houstoncit.org.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.

HPD is Hiring!