The San Diego County PERT teams are comprised of specially trained police officers or deputies who are paired with mental health professionals. Together, they respond on-scene to situations involving people with mental illness. The goal of the program is to refer people with mental illness who come into contact with police to the most appropriate service available and in the least restrictive environment possible. The 21 PERT teams represent a partnership between San Diego County Police and Sheriff departments and all of their divisions and San Diego County Mental Health, in addition to PERT, Inc, a non-profit organization.
Participating officers, deputies, and mental health professionals are specially selected and complete an initial introductory four hour training session prior to beginning with PERT and then complete a 40-hour block of training. The training includes modules about on-scene assessment, emergency response, mental illness, community-based organizations and the programs and services available throughout San Diego, and other topics related to mental health, substance abuse, homelessness and crisis response. In addition to this initial training, PERT, Inc. provides ongoing mental health training for law enforcement.
To access a PERT Team, community members should contact their local law enforcement agency or For Emergencies contact 911.