The North Sound RADAR Program
RADAR (Response Awareness, De-escalation And Referral) is an effort by the Police Departments in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell and Kirkland to address the rights and needs of individuals with behavioral health issues and/or developmental disabilities (BH/DD).
RADAR aims to decrease use-of-force incidents between police and individuals with BH/DD and to reduce the repeated and inappropriate use of emergency services by institutionalizing department-wide and regional information sharing about community members who may be at increased risk of violence or use of force, and offering connection to services and resources through a Mental Health Professional (MHP) Navigator accompanied by a law enforcement co-responder. MHP Navigators focus on moving people into community-based and long term systems of care to reduce reliance on the crisis and criminal legal systems and to improve outcomes.
The unique inter-jurisdictional nature of the RADAR program recognizes that people often move throughout a region, and capitalizes on economies of scale in staffing and administration. The creation and operation of RADAR has been made possible by early funding through the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the financial support of the United States Department of Justice through the Bureau of Justice Assistance Smart Policing Initiative, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), and the King County Mental Illness Drug Dependency (MIDD) Behavioral Health Sales Tax Fund.
In December 2019, researchers at George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, with funding from the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, released an Evaluation Report of the RADAR program. The Evaluation showed excellent early results of the program including reduction in use of force incidents and increased job satisfaction among law enforcement officers.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helps individuals and their caregivers prepare for crisis events: