Frank Webb, Manager
Frank honorably retired from the Houston Police Department (HPD) after 36-years of dedicated service. Frank was the person on HPD most responsible for the development and implementation of the department's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program. He has a reputation as a state and national leader in CIT training. Frank was selected by the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at Sam Houston State University to teach all Texas police chiefs a state-mandated 16-hour CIT class, was selected by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement as the Discipline Chair of the committee that developed the original 24-hour CIT module for the Basic Peace Officer Curriculum, was the HPD's expert witness regarding mental health, and has presented at state and national conferences, including presenting at two International Association of Chiefs of Police conferences.
Frank received forty-eight citizen commendations, thirty-two supervisor commendations, seven police chief commendations, three mayoral commendations, and fifteen commendations from other law enforcement agency supervisors and outside community agencies during his tenure with the Houston Police Department. He was the recipient of several awards, including: 100 Club of Houston Officer of the Year, Helen Farabee Community Leadership Award, Texas Alliance on Mental Illness Support Advocacy Award, Houston Police Department Officer of the Year, National Alliance on Mental Illness Professional of the Year, Sam Cochran Compassion in Law Enforcement Award, Professional Achievement Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Houston Police Department Instructor of the Year, Texas CIT Award of Excellence, Houston Police Department Lifetime Achievement, and Professional Achievement State of Texas.
Frank has the following degrees: Associate of Science in Law Enforcement, Bachelor of Science in Technology, and Master of Education.
The Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion is the newest bureau within the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) and, to our knowledge, the first of its kind in the nation. The goals of the bureau are to work on all mental health and jail diversion related issues throughout the agency and to make the HCSO the premiere criminal justice agency in the nation regarding responding to and caring for the mentally ill. The implementation of this bureau reflects the commitment of Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to address the issue of mental illness and criminal justice.
This new bureau is the liaison to the HCSO Mental Health Task Force, to the Harris County District Attorney's Mental Health Unit, and to the Harris County Jail Diversion Project. Leading the bureau is Major Mike Lee, an energetic, innovative, and forward thinking leader in criminal justice. Major Lee was largely responsible for the creation of the first-ever Mental Health Division in the Houston Police Department.
Major Lee has several projects in the planning, development, implementation, and maintenance stages. Mr. Frank Webb was brought in as a project manager to assist Major Lee with these numerous and varied special projects and to give presentations on our programs. Examples include the following:
Class of detention cadets receiving the 40-hour Mental Health/CIT course.
As a result of a proposal by Major Lee, the HCSO has embarked on the largest training initiative in the agency's history. All new corrections personnel and deputies receive a 40-hour Mental Health/Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) class in the academy. This training started in June 2017. For veterans, four 40-hour CIT classes are provided each year for patrol deputies and supervisors. This training started in June 2017. A specialized 40-hour class is being developed for all High Risk Operations Unit (HROU) decision makers and hostage negotiators. All CIT trained patrol deputies and sergeants will attend an eight-hour annual CIT refresher class. In addition, the bureau oversees all state-mandated and agency-mandated CIT/mental health training. The HCSO is among a few criminal justice agencies in the nation to provide this level of training.
Harris County is the first county jail in Texas to offer Vivitrol, a long acting non-narcotic, non-addictive medication that helps reduce cravings for alcohol and/or opiates. Vivitrol is combined with comprehensive substance abuse counseling and case management services to eligible offenders upon release from the jail. It is believed Vivitrol will play a key role in ensuring recovery from addiction thus reducing recidivism.
A meeting of the multi-agency committee developing the telepsychiatry pilot program.
(left to right) Dr. Avrim Fishkind, JSA Telepsychiatry; Frank Webb, HCSO; BJ Wagner, Meadows Foundation; Deputy Jose Gomez; and Sergeant Willie Hodge. Ms. Wagner rode with Deputy Gomez to see telepsychiatry at work.
JC Adams, CEO and Founder and Elizabeth Truong, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer of Cloud 9 meet with deputies and sergeants who participated in the telepsychiatry pilot to debrief them regarding their experiences with the Cloud 9 software. Also in attendance was Project Manager Frank Webb.
Mother talking with telepsychiatrist about her daughter who was depressed and had suicidal thoughts. The mother tried to get her daughter in to see a psychiatrist but the only appointment available was weeks away.
The HCSO is piloting what we believe is the only type of its program in the nation. We are utilizing telepsychiatry to assist patrol deputies responding to individuals in serious mental health crises. The primary partner in this pilot is JSA Health Corporation. Other partners are Cloud 9, Verizon Wireless, and the University of Texas Houston Health Sciences Center. Patrol deputies responding to individuals in serious mental health crisis will be able to have direct, real time access to a psychiatrist via an iPad Pro. The project is similar to Project Ethan, a project developed for the Houston Fire Department using live video chat for some patients who call 911 for minor health problems. Patients can speak live with an emergency medicine doctor through a computer tablet, potentially avoiding a long and costly ER visit. The idea is to direct some patients to primary care clinics, instead of automatically bringing them to an emergency room.
Read the article in the Houston Chronicle on our pilot program.
Other media coverage of our pilot includes: Dallas Morning News, Houston Public Media, KHOU Television News Houston, Isiah Factor Fox 26 News, mhealthintelligence, San Antonio News, Seattle Times, Telemundo, Texas Standard, and Washington Times.
Sheriff Gonzalez approved this bureau website. The Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion is the first bureau to create its own website. The information on this website is shared with personnel within the agency, sheriffs' offices and police departments, judges, legislators, behavioral health organizations, family members, and the citizenry.
Policies and Procedures
The Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion is a unique bureau in that it spans the entire agency: patrol, detentions, and training. The bureau started writing comprehensive departmental policy in November 2017 to reflect its mission and to address issues not covered by policy. The bureau also writes training bulletins and standard operating procedures regarding mental health and jail diversion.
The Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion is the first to publish a bureau annual report. The bureau believes it is important to capture what was achieved during the year and share that information with management, agency personnel, collaborating entities, the criminal justice community, and the public.
4th Annual Mental Health Conference
The Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) at Sam Houston State University presented the 4th Annual Mental Health Conference October 31 to November 03 , 2017 in Galveston, Texas. CMIT is a state and national leader in the field or Corrections.
The conference hosted 375 people from law enforcement, detentions, and behavioral health. People attended from as far away as New York, Florida, and Wisconsin.
Project Manager Frank Webb presented two sessions with Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jason Bullock on the MILO scenario based training simulator on Wednesday, November 1st. Deputy Bullock is assigned to the Training Bureau and is in charge of the MILO training. Mr. Webb then presented two sessions on the Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion on Thursday, November 2nd. All presentations were very well attended.
Deputy Jason Bullock explaining the MILO simulator.
Project Manager Frank Webb giving a presentation on the agency's bureau.
An attendee participating in a scenario.
Project Manager Frank Webb giving a presentation on the agency's bureau.
Comments on MILO Presentation
An awesome product! It should be implemented in the academies.Participant
Very interesting, would love to be able to get this training in my county.Participant
This system needs to be in every agency for training.Participant
Excellent presentation. Presenters were friendly, positive, and able to effectively equip the audience with skills.Participant
Comments on Bureau Presentation
This [presentation on the Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion] was the best session I have attended. It offered solutions/programs to deal with the mentally ill. It didn't just talk about problems.Sheriff
Very informative. A great, engaging speaker (handy right after lunch).Participant
We need more presenters like Frank Webb. He engages the audience and is well informed on the topic. I enjoyed both the MILO and this presentation. Great job!Participant
(left to right) Mr. Darrell Pile, Ms. Loretta Coonan, Mr. Frank Webb
Behavioral Mental Health Workshop
The University of Texas Police at Houston and Houston Behavioral Health organized and hosted the workshop on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. The workshop is attended by criminal justice, behavioral health and medical personnel/organizations. The workshop was formed by the University of Texas Police Department to discuss mental health issues as they relate to criminal justice. Four presentations were give on this day:
Dr. Amber Pastusek gave a presentation on the NeuroPsychiatric Center. The NeuroPsychiatric Center is the local mental health authority's psychiatric emergency service.
Loretta Coonan, LCSW, Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center gave a presentation on a training initiative for law enforcement personnel working at the medical center.
Darrell Pile, Chief Executive Officer of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council based in Houston, gave a presentation on his program that notifies emergency medical services of the availability of hospital beds. Mr. Pile believes his organization, referred to as SETRAC (SET-RACK), can adapt their program to help inform police officers and deputies of hospitals and mental health facilities with available beds for people in mental health crisis.
Program Manager Frank Webb gave a presentation titled: "Harris County's Crisis Services Are in Crisis." The Harris County Sheriff's Office believes this is the most critical issue facing law enforcement officers today. Police officers and deputies are finding it increasingly difficult to locate a facility to take a person in mental health crisis to. Law enforcement personnel are spending increasingly more time on these calls trying to located a facility to take the individual to. Although there are over 60 hospitals and over 25 behavioral health facilities in Harris County, there is no coordination of these facilities. A few hospitals are being over utilized for individuals brought in by law enforcement while many other hospitals and behavioral health facilities are not being utilized at all. It is believed SETRAC can list all available facilities to law enforcement and guide officers and deputies to the appropriate facility based on predetermined criteria. A committee was formed to work on this issue.
National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice
The National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University sponsored a Mental Health Awareness Panel on Thursday, November 9, 2017 in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom in the Criminal Justice building. The following were the presenters:
Rita Watkins, Ph. D., Executive Director of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at Sam Houston State University. Dr. Watkins talked about the importance of criminal justice personnel keeping themselves mentally and physically healthy.
Officer Rebecca Skillern, M.A., LPC-S, Houston Police Department Mental Health Division. Officer Skillern talked about the various programs in the Houston Police Department for responding to individuals in serious mental health crises.
Program Manager Frank Webb, M.Ed., Harris County Sheriff's Office. Mr. Webb talked about the programs in the Harris County Jail for responding to and treating inmates with mental illness. Mr. Webb also talked about the jail's programs for reducing recidivism and for diverting individuals with mental illness from the jail.
(left to right) Adrian Sanchez, Vice President of the National Organization of Hispanics in Criminal Justice; Dr. Rita Watkins, Executive Director of LEMIT; Officer Rebecca Skillern, Houston Police Department; Program Manager Frank Webb.
(left to right) Austin Isensee, Patsy Gilham, Neal Sarahan, Ted Isensee, Debbie Isensee, Jane King, Frank Webb.
Isensee Foundation for Safe Police Response Facebook Live Event
The Isensee Foundation for Safe Police Response held its annual fund raising event live via Facebook on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Program Manager Frank Webb participated.
The Isensee Foundation was formed after the death of Sean Darrell Isensee, who died in 2013 during a mental health crisis. Sean had developed bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in his late teens. He struggled with these illnesses for the rest of his life. On the last day of his life, Sean was shot and killed by a police officer responding to Sean who was in mental health crisis. The Isensee Foundation works in Sean's memory (and those of others like him) to prevent similar tragedies. The Foundation works closely with criminal justice organizations to help train peace officers and correctional personnel about mental illness and the crisis intervention/de-escalation techniques that have been proven to help de-escalate a person in crisis.
Hope and Healing Center
The Hope and Healing Center (HHC) is an expression of St. Martin Episcopal Church’s vision to minister to those broken by life’s circumstances and a direct response to the compassionate Great Commission of Jesus. An independent 501c3 non-profit organization housed on the St. Martin’s campus, the HHC is a comprehensive mental health resource serving the Houston community and beyond.
Every week, the HHCI offers educational seminars and programs to inform the community on issues related to mental health and wellness. These include our popular Lunch and Learn series, a monthly Mental Illness Q&A, as well as more formal presentations by leading experts and professionals. Some areas we focus on include: substance use disorder, aging, adoption/foster care, serious mental illness, anxiety, end of life, and special needs parenting.
Support groups for individuals and families struggling with mental health problems and addiction are offered during the day and in the evening at the Center. Mental Health Coaches are available daily to offer personal guidance and support to individuals and families seeking answers and care.
The Center also offers continuing education training for mental health and medical professionals in the community. Educational programs and services offered at the HHCI are free or low cost and available to everyone.
Pictured above are the board members of the Hope and Healing Center. Program Manager Frank Webb gave a presentation on the Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion to the board on Thursday, November 30, 2017. Accompanying Mr. Webb were Deputies Luke Ditta and James Kelley of the Homeless Outreach Team.
Frank Webb, M.Ed.
Bureau of Mental Health and Jail Diversion