Community Outreach & Stabilization Unit (C.O.A.S.T.)
Community Outreach & Stabilization Unit (C.O.A.S.T.)
In March of 2018, the Saint Paul Police Department established the Mental Health Unit. The program was based on two nationally recognized police mental health collaborative best practices; a co-responder program and a case management program.
In 2019, the Unit was challenged with creating a chemical dependency program and a homeless/un-sheltered outreach program to respond to the community's needs and expectations. To best reflect the Department's programming goals and vision for the future of the program, the name was changed from the Mental Health Unit to the Community Outreach and Stabilization Unit, or C.O.A.S.T.
The COAST Unit consists of the Mental Health Resource Team (MHRT), the Recovery Access Program (RAP) and the Police Homeless Outreach Program (PHOP).
The Mental health Resource Team, or MHRT, is a collaborative response between the Saint Paul Police Department and our community based resource partners. Comprised of our partners from Regions Hospital and People Incorporated, our embedded Licensed Clinical Social Workers work with specially trained Mental Health officers to respond to in-progress crisis related calls for service in our Co-Responder Program. They conduct follow up and outreach efforts in our Case Management Program. The goal is to connect individuals in need of community based resources to services.
One of those resources is The East Metro Crisis Alliance. Others are listed below.
St. Paul police mental health unit doubles social worker staffing - StarTribune.com (click link for article).
For more information on SPPD's MHRT program, contact Officer Lori Goulet.
Saint Paul Police Officers are a part of the first responder network that arrives to overdoses caused by drugs and alcohol. The Recovery Access Program, or RAP, is an effort to connect individuals with a chemical dependency to community based programs and supports, encouraging health and wellness. The program partners with the expertise of programs during outreach efforts following an overdose event. The goals of the RAP program include accurate collection of data, outreach and follow up to calls for service, engagement of resources and appropriate responses to potential epidemics.
St. Paul police now tracking drug overdoses to spot trends, get help to people - TwinCities.com (click link for article).
For more information on SPPD's RAP program, contact Officer Justin Tiffany.
In 2005, the Saint Paul Police Department joined a collaborative effort with Radias Health and Mental Heath Resources (MHR) to create the Police Homeless Outreach Program. Funded through the Minnesota Housing Agency, the PHOP program is provided with a limited number of housing vouchers to assist individuals experiencing homelessness with an opportunity to acquire housing. The goal of the program is to provide short term housing assistance to individuals who are working on long term housing goals. Over the years, many individuals have successfully participated in the program.
A valuable resource for information is The Handbook of the Streets.
St. Paul PD expands mental health program, calls it "Community Outreach and Stabilization" - Fox9.com (click link for article).
The Unit enables the SPPD to connect people in crisis with the care they need, helping to significantly reduce mental-health-crisis-related arrests and repeat calls for service.
With a concentration on community outreach, the unit seeks to be part of the conversation before tragedy occurs—and possibly prevent or disrupt the behaviors.
Officer Lori Goulet, 21 years seasoned with the SPPD: “There is a gap between police officers and people in mental health community services. In my role I hope to bridge that gap, and provide better communication and services for people with mental illnesses in regards to policing.”
Officer Justin Tiffany, an eight-year guardian with the SPPD: “From my experience many people in crisis are looking for that first thread to help pull them out of crisis. I see this position as an opportunity to assist them in that capacity as well as being a bridge between the police department and mental health services.”
Officer Marshall Titus, six years practiced with the SPPD: “Patrol officers experience a lot of people in crisis every year. Often, the quick fix is to bring people to the hospital. We want to do more than that. We want to get to people before they are in crisis and make sure community members are receiving all the support that they need. That’s what this unit is all about.”
Sergeant Jamie Sipes, a 23 year veteran of law enforcement has served for the last 18-years with the SPPD: “I am excited to be a part of this program. This is a great example of how our department responds to the changing needs and expectations of our community to ensure quality customer service to everyone.”
Our community has a number of services which may be useful to those in need of mental health resources.
- Ramsey County Crisis: 651-266-7900
- Children’s Mental Health: 651-266-7878
- Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
- United Way's 211 program
Ramsey County Adult Mental Health Urgent Care Center, 402 E. University.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT):
Did you know?:
1 in 5 people will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime. Do not suffer in silence, help is available. Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website (https://www.nami.org/).
The St. Paul Police Department is a proud participant of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) One Mind pledge. The One Mind Campaign seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and persons affected by mental illness. The initiative focuses on united local communities, public safety organizations, and mental health organizations so that the three become "of one mind."