Our Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) telehealth program — which provides our patrol deputies with in-hand access to a behavioral health clinician via an iPad — received the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Michael Shanahan Leadership in Public/Private Cooperation Award. The award recognizes partnerships between law enforcement agencies and private industries that have collaborated to build community trust and enhance public safety.
Launched in 2017 with an eye toward the future, our CORE program has been a game-changer. This partnership with The Harris Center started as a pilot program with three deputies and has since become the largest of its kind in the nation with 250 trained deputies across Harris County. Deputies can connect with a clinician within five minutes for support on mental health calls. Since its launch, several partners have been involved in its success: JSA Telehealth, Cloud 9, Verizon Wireless, Arnold Ventures, University of Houston-Downtown, and The Harris Center.
Last month’s issue of IACP’s Police Chief Magazine, Telehealth Solution for Mental Health Calls, included program highlights from an evaluation funded by Arnold Ventures and conducted by the University of Houston-Downtown. Our agency is the liaison for the CORE program in our county, with seven constable offices on board along with other jurisdictions joining the program.
We were the first law enforcement agency in the nation to pilot a telepsychiatry program for patrol deputies. It evolved into using masters-level clinicians instead of psychiatrists. Please visit our site for more information about our CORE program. Please remember, if you are in a mental health crisis, know that you’re not alone. Help is always available. Call 911 or 713-221-6000.
National Safety Month
Summertime is when families plan vacations, staycations, and excursions to the pool, beach, and water parks. Drownings and heat stroke are often the last things on people’s minds while having fun in the sun, but they pose a real threat.
- Do not be overconfident around water. It only takes seconds for someone to drown. Know that any depth of water is dangerous.
- Place barriers around the water.
- Watch your kids closely and always have a responsible designated adult to watch them while in the water.
- Use floaties and life jackets.
- Learn water rescue skills and CPR.
- Take formal swim lessons.
Look Before You Lock
Hot cars can kill. Do not leave kids or pets inside a hot vehicle for any amount of time. Vehicles can quickly heat 20 degrees in only 10 minutes. Nearly 44% of vehicle heatstroke deaths occur because the caregiver left the child in the car unintentionally. Nearly 30% of deaths occur because a caregiver intentionally left the child. For more tips and facts, visit Wheresbaby.org.
We have created a vehicle flyer to remind you to check your backseat. Download the flyer and place it in your car as a daily reminder.
Pets and Heat
We have touched on hot cars being potentially deadly for pets but there are other safety concerns to look out for during the summer:
- Watch the humidity. It is common for heat indices to be more than 100 degrees.
- Limit exercises on hot days and check how hot the asphalt is.
- Do not rely on a fan to provide adequate relief from the heat. Provide ample shade and water if your dog is outside for a time playing or exercising.
- Watch what your pet eats and drinks at barbeques and pool parties. Many foods and drinks can be poisonous to pets.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke and know how to treat a pet suffering from it.
- For a full list of hot weather pet safety tips, check out the ASPCA.
Hurricane season is here through the end of November. Houstonians know better than to disregard warnings. However, many people are still not proactive and currently do not have a hurricane supply kit ready to go. When a disturbance is brewing in the Gulf there is always the inevitable rush to stock up on water and supplies. Instead of panicking and making last-minute preparations, we ask that you put together a hurricane supply kit and plan for your family now and not wait for the next tropical system to pop up in the Gulf.
Thank you to all of our readers who pause every week to see what our agency is doing for the residents of our county. We value your support. Let’s work together to have a safe, happy, and memorable summer.