Mental Health Field Response Teams Program


John McGrath, Jail Services Liaison

Grants will be awarded to Washington State local law enforcement agencies based on locally developed joint proposals from two or more law enforcement agencies working together, that incorporate mental health professionals into their mental health field response planning and response.

Proposals must provide a plan for improving mental health field response and diversion from incarceration through modifying or expanding law enforcement practices in partnership with mental health professionals.

Grant recipients must include at least one mental health professional, as defined in RCW 71.05.020(38), who will perform field response professional services under the plan. A mental health professional may assist patrolling law enforcement officers either in the field or in an on-call capacity. The mental health professional may also provide preventive, follow-up, training on mental health field response best practices, or other services at the direction of the local law enforcement agency. Nothing limits the mental health professional's participation to field patrol.

Grant recipients are encouraged to coordinate with their local public safety answering point to maximize the goals of the program.

Grant recipients shall develop and provide or arrange for training necessary for mental health professionals to operate successfully and competently in partnership with law enforcement agencies. The training must provide the mental health professionals with a working knowledge of law enforcement procedures and tools sufficient to provide for the safety of the professionals, partnered law enforcement officers, and members of the public.

Grant recipients will be selected and receiving funds on or about July 1, 2021.

WASPC is posting this GRANT APPLICATION on our website so that interested member law enforcement agencies (two or more) may submit a joint proposal in accordance with the terms on this GRANT APPLICATION.

Eligible Applicants must be law enforcement agencies with 911 calls-for-service law enforcement responsibilities.

Joint proposals are defined as two or more law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Joint proposals must identify and select one lead agency to serve as a project managing agency in the implementation of their proposal. The Lead Agency will retain responsibility for the overall project administration, including fiduciary responsibilities and oversight.

This GRANT APPLICATION is issued by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). WASPC is the sole point of contact concerning this grant. The point of contact at WASPC regarding inquiries and application process questions is John McGrath, Jail Services Liaison & Grant Administrator.

In the event that it becomes necessary to revise any part of this GRANT APPLICATION, a modification will be published on WASPC web site at It is incumbent upon Applicants to carefully and regularly monitor the WASPC website for any such postings.

For more specific information on how to apply, please click here. To download the grant application form, please click here.

The Mental Health Field Response Teams Program provides grants to local police and sheriff’s departments to improve the interactions between the public and law enforcement. Mental health professionals assist patrol officers in the field or in an on-call capacity, they also provide training on best practices.

These innovative partnerships reduce the possibility of using force and improve public safety overall. Instead of booking someone into jail, they may be connected with services or diverted to a more appropriate facility for care.  The program is one of the ways your local law enforcement is working to find solutions for communities.

The Washington State Legislature has previously funded $2 million for grants and operation of the Mental Health Field Response Teams Program.

The following are the 2020 and 2021 Grant recipients (multi-agency grants are administered by the first agency listed) previously funded by the Legislature:

For information contact:

John McGrath
Jail Services Liaison
(360) 486-2401
[email protected]