As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to address issues related to homelessness, the Long Beach Police Department will be consolidating the efforts of the Mental Evaluation Team (MET) and the Quality of Life (QoL) team into a combined collaborative unit.
The reorganization goes into effect on Saturday, November 2, 2019, and moves the two sections under one chain of command within the Patrol Bureau’s Field Support Division. The supervision within the unit includes one lieutenant and one sergeant who will oversee the combined operations, track citywide productivity, and evaluate new technology that may assist officers in the field.
The merger of these sections, allows for shared briefings and improved information sharing. The MET Teams will continue to respond citywide as needed, and the QoL Teams will maintain their assignments in each Patrol Division. The new organizational structure helps ensure that the mission focus of these important functions is carried out in a uniform and consistent manner. It also enhances our contributions to the City’s Interdepartmental Team’s efforts in addressing the issue of homelessness.
“This reorganization allows us to maximize the use of these critical resources for the benefit of our community,” stated Chief of Police Robert G. Luna. “A large percentage of persons experiencing homelessness struggle with substance abuse or suffer from mental illness, and the increased access to trained mental health clinicians provides officers with additional options for deescalating volatile situations and connecting people in crisis with valuable services and assistance.”
Another key element of the reorganization includes the creation of a Liaison Officer, to be assigned to work out of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Multi Service Center (MSC). The new Liaison Officer will be tasked with enhancing the collaborative efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Police Department, while helping to build partnerships with organizations that develop programs and provide services to persons experiencing homelessness.
The new Quality of Life – Mental Health Team will also be responsible for developing new and innovative ways to increase collaboration with other City departments and regional partners on larger scale projects such as riverbed outreach, appropriate enforcement, and clean-up operations.