Participating PCPD officers complete a 24-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 some cases, an SDPD PERT unit may be called to assist the college police with an individual. SDPD PERT teams consist of a PERT trained officer and a mental health clinician who rides with the officer. The clinician is not a sworn officer and is not in a uniform, which can be less intimidating to a person in crisis.
Voluntary hospitalizations are encouraged for anyone having a mental health crisis, but sometimes involuntary hospitalizations may be necessary. In such a case, the individual in crisis is taken by police officers to the San Diego County Mental Health facility and held for up to 72 hours. Any law enforcement officer, PERT clinician or county designated personnel may place an individual on an involuntary 72-hour hold.