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A League-supported bill would give law enforcement more tools when responding to mental health calls.
HF 3529 (Rep. Dan Wolgamott, DFL-St. Cloud), a League-supported bill that would allow mental health data to be shared with law enforcement, will be heard by the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee on March 22.
A delete-everything amendment will be offered by the bill author, which is the result of work by the League and other stakeholders, including mental health providers, human services, community corrections, county attorneys, and law enforcement.
The Senate companion bill, SF 3193 (Sen. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville), has not yet been heard. It has been referred to the Senate Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee.
Need for this legislation
Law enforcement is receiving more and more mental health calls, and state law needs to provide them with the tools to respond effectively. The proposed amendment would provide better tools that would result in allowing:
- Law enforcement to access data needed when responding to mental health calls.
- City police to be represented on adult protection teams.
Data sharing during mental health calls
When a mental health call comes in today, the law allows for some mental health data sharing, but it is limited to “emergency interactions.”
Since this term is not statutorily defined, it has been interpreted very narrowly. This narrow interpretation doesn’t allow law enforcement to access information needed to use the proper strategies to address mental health calls.
City police representation on adult protection teams
Adult protection teams today are comprised of county human services, county sheriffs, and mental health providers to give the best service possible to people with mental health needs. However, it is most often city police officers who respond to mental health calls.
Adult protection teams are missing the on-the-ground information from police departments, and police departments are missing information that would be helpful when responding to mental health calls. For example, it would be beneficial if the police officers were aware when a call comes in that they should engage a social worker or mental health provider before getting to the scene.
What cities can do
Contact your legislators to share your city’s support for this legislation.