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A panel discussion on the intersection between law enforcement and the mental health system in Deschutes County.
From 2010 to 2018, Bend PD experienced a 172% increase in mental health crisis calls. From 2019-2020 Law Enforcement calls to the mobile crisis team increased by 62% and by 67% from 2018-2019. In 2020, the mobile crisis team had 9,497 total contacts with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
These numbers highlight the significant challenges faced by law enforcement and the mental health care system who are often taxed by limited supports and resources. Join us for a panel discussion on the intersection between law enforcement and the mental health system to see how these issues are being addressed in Deschutes County.
The panel discussion includes a brief presentation followed by a question and answer section from the community. Our panelists represent advocacy groups, law enforcement, and mental health providers.
- Stephanie Sahleen Affiliate Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Oregon
- Captain Devin Lewis, Redmond PD
- Sergeant Liz Lawrence, Bend PD (CRT Team)
- Deputy Kevin Riding, Deschutes County Sherriff's Office (Patrol)
- Holly Harris, Deschutes County Behavioral Health (Program Manager of the Crisis Team)
Stephanie Sahleen Affiliate Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Oregon: Stephanie has lived in Central Oregon for 21 years. She has worked with NAMI as a volunteer, a board member, and now the Affiliate Director over the last three years. Prior to that, she sat on the March for Babies Central Oregon Logistics Committee for nine years. Stephanie has experience with mental illness as a peer and a family member. She is currently finishing her Bachelors of Social Work through Portland State University and will begin her Master of Social Work program in the summer of 2021.
Sergeant Liz Lawrence of Bend PD: Sergeant Lawrence grew up in Bend and has worked for the Bend Police Department for 30 years. She was responsible for developing the Community Response Team in 2015 which works very closely with people experiencing crisis in the community. As part of this team's mission, she works diligently to divert these individuals from the hospital and jail system and will proactively check on individuals and their families when they are not in crisis. Additionally, Sgt. Lawrence pioneered a therapy dog program, which provides outreach to Bend La Pine Schools, Circuit Court House, Shelters and provide support for people in crisis.
Captain Devin Lewis of Redmond PD: Captain Lewis began his career in Law Enforcement as an Explorer for the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Hillsboro, OR. He graduated from Washington State University in 1999 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. He currently serves as the Captain of the Redmond (OR) Police Department and has over 21 years of law enforcement experience in Central Oregon, having also worked at the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Bend Police Department. He has worked as a police officer, field training officer, criminal detective, patrol sergeant, training/admin sergeant, investigations sergeant, and lieutenant. Captain Lewis has demonstrated a commitment to servant leadership, community engagement, and progressive ideas relating to employee health and wellness.
Deputy Kevin Riding of Deschutes County Sherriff's Office: Deputy Riding has worked for the Deschutes County Sherriff's Office in a variety of capacities including as a Corrections Deputy from Sept 2007-April 2010 and as a Patrol Deputy from April 2010-current. He is a CIT trained, SWAT Hostage Crisis Negotiator, a Patrol Deputy Trainer (FTEP), Intermediate Level Spanish Translator, a DCSO Peer Support Team Leader, and a DCSO, De-Escalation Instructor. He earned his BS in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Brigham Young University in 2004.
Holly Harris, Program Manager of Deschutes County Behavioral Health Crisis Program: Holly Harris is a Program Manager for Deschutes County Health Services. She moved here from Texas 8 years ago and has been with Deschutes County since that time. She currently oversees all Crisis and Forensic Diversion services, including the Deschutes County Stabilization Center (DCSC) and has focused on the intersection of the criminal justice and behavioral health system for most of her career. In addition, Holly has trained nationally on topics such as Evidenced-Based Practices, Motivational Interviewing and Risk Assessments and has been working in the behavioral health field for over 17 years.