Pasco sheriff creates Mental Health and Threat Assessment Team

The Paso County Sheriff's Office is unveiled plans for its new mental health unit Monday.

Officially, it will be called the Mental Health and Threat Assessment Team and will be a proactive unit aimed at preventing issues before they start.

"We're recognizing we want to be ahead of the curve," said Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The team won't take on every mental health call, but plant to focus on the 503 individuals who were Baker-acted multiples times last year.

"If we can touch those 503, plus the threat assessment, plus those that have been in a jail that are high frequency users well be more successful," Sheriff Nocco said.

The sheriff says they'll routinely check-in with those people, build a relationship, and hopefully keep them from entering the criminal justice system.

"Everybody has a baseline. When they start to dip below that baseline, we can provide some intervention strategies," said Lt. Toni Roach.

The sheriff expects the team will be busy quickly and expect the group to grow. He says while it won't be easy, the unit is necessary.

"We can't just stand by and say it is someone else's problem, we have to address it ourselves," he said.