Serving Safely is a national initiative designed to improve interactions between police and persons affected by mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. The initiative has offered free remote and on-site assistance to police departments and prosecutors’ offices through training, evaluation, and guidance specific to requesting agencies' needs. Examples, among many others, have included:

  • Phone assessments identifying opportunities, resources, and next steps for your agency
  • Assistance in developing and implementing policies and standard operating procedures
  • CIT International’s emergency dispatcher training
  • Access to NAMI’s network of speakers, including self-advocates and family members that can speak to their experiences with mental illness
  • The Arc’s Pathways to Justice training, which helps law enforcement, legal professionals, and victim service professionals better understand the unique challenges that people with developmental disabilities face in the justice system

Project Objectives

  • Develop and facilitate collaborative responses for people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities who come into contact with the police and their community partners in ways that improve safety for all;

  • Build a national community of practice for police responses to people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities; and

  • Contribute to and expand upon available information on best practices, policies, research, and resources in the field and ensure that all resources are easily accessible and widely disseminated.