What the BCSO Mental Health Unit does

Deputies rarely use force when attempting to execute mental health warrant

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The first at the scene during a standoff this week was the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Unit, a unit that is dedicated to helping those struggling with a mental crisis to get them to a hospital.

The unit’s job quickly changed Tuesday when shots were fired and they were forced to call for backup.

READ MORE: NW Bexar County standoff suspect, woman found dead in home, ID'd

Fast Facts about the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Unit:

  • The warrants they serve are civil instead of criminal.
  • Deputies rarely use force when attempting to execute a mental health warrant. Instead, they try to talk their way inside.
  • Everything from their unmarked units to the street clothes they wear is designed to help de-escalate often volatile situations.

RELATED: BCSO unit interested in getting mentally ill people treatment, not jail time

  • Deputies focus on taking someone dealing with a mental health crisis to a hospital instead of a putting them behind bars.

What Sgt. Raul Garza with the Mental Health Unit is saying:

“A good outcome is everyone goes home safe. The person comes and the person gets taken to a treatment facility.”

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