SAFE (Specialized Assistance for Everyone)
Cotati, Rohnert Park and Sonoma State University have partnered to run a mobile mental health crisis response team for our communities. This team, referred to as the "SAFE" team and can be accessed by calling 707-792-4611. The SAFE team, modeled after the successful Cahoots program in Eugene, OR, consists of a medic (nurse, paramedic, or Emergency Medical Technician) and a crisis worker.
Services provided by SAFE include responding to people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, in need of treatment for mental illness, or who need shelter by providing counseling and transportation to the appropriate location. The team also addresses minor medical complaints that do not require emergency room care. Left untreated, some of these medical conditions can become severe. The SAFE team is supported by a Coordinator, who will manage referrals to the various social and mental health programs in Sonoma County. The SAFE team is a community resource that runs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in the partner jurisdictions.
How Does It Work?
Calls for service involving mental health, addiction, and homelessness account for a significant number of calls our police department responds to annually. Through the SAFE program, these calls are responded to by a team with the tools, resources, and knowledge to address the unique needs of community members more effectively. In partnering with the Petaluma Peoples Services Center (PPSC), the City is able to leverage existing behavioral health programs and ensure a seamless referral to an established continuum of care.
The SAFE team provides 3 main services to the community:
- Emergency response for issues relating to mental health, addiction, and homelessness
- Non-emergency response for people in need
- Proactive community outreach
SAFE team members are accompanied by police officers to calls for service only if a person is armed, believed to be in danger of causing harm to themselves or others, or if emergency medical care is needed. The SAFE team does not provide emergency medical care or perform involuntary mental health detention.
The team works proactively to address low level issues and provides preventative outreach to help ensure individuals don't end up needing a higher level of care. This program is intended to benefit all of public safety by keeping police officers, firefighters, and paramedics available for appropriate emergencies.
Learn more with the Petaluma People Services Center.
How Can I Reach the SAFE Team?
Individuals may access SAFE services as follows:
- Call 707-792-4611 - an emergency dispatcher will answer and determine if your situation requires the SAFE team, first responders such as police, fire, or paramedics, or a combination of both.
- To contact PPSC or to find out more about the program, email SAFE