HELPLINE: 650-638-0802 / CRISIS LINE: 650-579-0350 / TEXT 988 LIFELINE

About Mental Health

San Mateo Police Department and the Community Wellness and Crisis Responses Team (CWCRT) mental health clinician used de-escalation techniques for over ninety minutes to assist a woman experiencing a mental health crisis.  She was taken into custody safely and is receiving treatment at a mental health facility.  Due to the mental health nature of this incident, SMPD is keeping the subject’s name confidential.  

San Mateo, CA – On Thursday February 3, 2022, at approximately 11:35 a.m., the San Mateo Police Department received a phone call from the 300 block of Humboldt Street. The caller asked for police assistance because his roommate was having a mental breakdown and destroying items in the apartment. The caller feared for his life and locked himself in his bedroom in attempt to protect himself from his roommate. SMPD quickly arrived at the scene, and the caller was able to escape the residence by climbing out of his window to waiting SMPD officers. Shortly after his escape, SMPD learned there might be firearms inside the residence.

SMPD initiated a comprehensive response. Crisis intervention trained (CIT) officers and the CWCRT mental health clinician attempted  negotiations with the woman to safely exit the residence. Throughout the negotiations, the woman exited and entered her residence several times but never remained outside for more than a few moments. Officers observed the woman attempting to cut herself, and she threatened to shoot herself and officers. Negotiations with the woman continued for more than ninety minutes. During one of the woman’s brief trips outside the residence, officers intercepted the woman and safely took her into custody. The woman was transported for treatment at a mental health facility. SMPD officers executed a search warrant and confiscated a firearm and ammunition per 8102 Welfare & Institutions code. We are grateful no one was seriously injured during this dangerous call for service.

The San Mateo Police Department advocates crisis intervention training (CIT) and our police officers undergo a 40-hour intensive program in addition to de-escalation training. Our hope is to always show individuals there are options and other paths available to assist them through their crisis. Through collaborative community partnerships and intensive training, CIT improves communication, identifies mental health resources for those in crisis, and ensures officer and community safety.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created a short video to help explain CIT. Please follow this link to view the video:

In December 2021, a mental health clinician started working alongside San Mateo Police Department officers as part of a pilot program (Community Wellness and Crisis Response Pilot Project) focused on de-escalating certain high risk emergency calls and providing compassionate and proper care for those individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.  San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) partnered with StarVista, a local nonprofit that delivers high impact services through counseling and crisis intervention to individuals, to train and to supervise the clinicians.

Alison Gilmore
Public Information Officer | Office of the Chief
City of San Mateo Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy, San Mateo, CA 94403
650-522-7626 |