Establishing a direct clinical – law enforcement partnership to address dementia crisis intervention across WA state

Project Type(s):

Principal Investigator(s):

Although medical care and law enforcement may intersect in an emergency situation, cross-communication and mutual education opportunities prior to the critical tipping point are currently sorely lacking. Our innovative partnership seeks to address these gaps by determining the specific steps dementia clinicians and law enforcement in WA state can take together to improve community health.  

For Phase I of this project, we are initiating a direct collaboration between clinicians and law enforcement for dementia crisis intervention, in order to establish appropriate safety measures to be enacted in WA communities. An essential component of ensuring lasting impact can only be achieved by determining the local availability, usability, and effectiveness of proposed safety interventions. 

UW dementia specialists will partner with law enforcement across Washington state to jointly identify the resources necessary for effective dementia crisis response. We seek to bridge the gap between medical care and community safety concerns, specifically at a crisis point when a community member feels compelled to summon law enforcement due to perceived significant threat or lack of awareness of other, more appropriate resources. We will conduct interviews with clinicians, police departments, and community stakeholders, review police call logs, and perform ride alongs. The information gathered will be analyzed for major themes related to knowledge and resource gaps, as well as any existing solutions. Three crisis response priorities will be identified, and corresponding “safety packet” content will be outlined in preparation for community partnership input, local adaptations, and ultimately state-wide dissemination.

Project Period:
January 1, 2024 December 31, 2024

Funding Type(s):

Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions

Geographic Area(s):

Practice Type(s):

Patient Population(s):

Targeted Condition(s):
Cognitive Disorders