Learn why so many cities and counties rely on crisis volunteers to be there every day.


"These volunteers provide on-scene emotional support and resources to families and witnesses, freeing the LAPD or LAFD to do their work at the incident and saving the city money."

Hon. Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

“The San Diego Police Department Crisis Intervention Team provides an invaluable service to the citizens of San Diego during their toughest moments. Their willingness to volunteer provides immediate support for those in need.”

William M. Lansdowne, Chief, San Diego Police Department

"Having the community chaplains available to make death notifications in person really leverages our time and gives us much more flexibility."
Gregory P. Wyatt, Coroner, Sacramento County


"I can tell you how valuable it's been in my own experience to be on a scene with a very emotionally needy survivor and be able to make that phone call . . ."

Captain James Fazackerly, Paramedic, San Francisco Fire Department

Public safety agencies face perpetual demands to address complex social problems with chronically inadequate resources. Since the 1980s, a growing number of departments have partnered with the community to provide on-scene practical and emotional support to bereaved survivors after heart attacks, suicides, homicides, fatal accidents and other tragedies.


Survivors receiving immediate support are more likely to rebuild healthy, fulfilling, productive lives, rather than spiraling down into mental health problems, substance abuse, school failure, unemploy­ment, family breakup, and criminal activity. In addition, public safety officials benefit from:

  • Keeping survivors calm, informed, and occupied
  • Focusing more on law enforcement and emergency medical services than on social services
  • Releasing back into service sooner
  • Knowing that survivors are cared for after public safety officials leave
  • Generating goodwill among the community toward municipal agencies

For Frequently Asked Questions about how crisis care programs work, click here

To read a one-page summary of risk management issues related to offering crisis care services (either through a municipal agency or through contract with a private agency), download the pdf file below.

Crisis Care Risk Management Summary.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 39.8 KB



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Public Officials

Learn why so many cities & counties rely on crisis volunteers to be there every day.