Long Beach Police Combine Units to Improve Efforts to Deal With Homeless Issues

As part of the city's ongoing efforts to address homelessness and related issues, the Long Beach Police Department announced Friday it will consolidate the Mental Evaluation Team and Quality of Life team into a single, collaborative unit.

The reorganization goes into effect Saturday and moves the two sections under one chain of command within the Patrol Bureau's Field Support Division. The supervision within the unit includes a lieutenant and a sergeant, who will oversee the combined operations, track citywide productivity, and evaluate new technology that may assist officers in the field, according to the department.

The merger of the sections will allow 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 is designed to help ensure uniformity and consistency.

"This reorganization allows us to maximize the use of these critical resources for the benefit of our community," Chief of Police Robert G. Luna said.

"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 de-escalating volatile situations and connecting people in crisis with valuable services and assistance," he said.

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