‘Crisis Cops’ documentary available for virtual screenings By:


By Suzie Ziegler

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Police agencies may register for unlimited free streaming access to the documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops until October 1, 2022.

The 95-minute film explores the experiences of two Texas police officers who use de-escalation techniques to resolve mental health calls. The film aims to spark dialogue about the culture of policing and better prepare cops to respond to people in crisis, according to the filmmakers.

The film is perfect for law enforcement and public safety use:

  • As a department training and/or CIT training
  • In training academies
  • As a mental health crisis response skill-building and/or officer wellness event for agency personnel
  • With the larger community, which could include local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter and/or other local behavioral health organizations.

Register here using code EJCC-POLICE1. Hosts have the option of showing the full 95-minute film or a 25-minute version for shorter events. The film is also available on HBO with a subscription.

“We hope our screenings and discussions will inspire reflection, bridge-building, and action that will lead to stronger police-community relations, improved mental health outcomes, greater awareness of officers’ own mental health challenges, and more law enforcement and behavioral health systems change,” organizers say.

Have questions about hosting a screening? Contact the filmmakers Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley talks to Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro about the origins of the Mental Health Unit, how the documentary came about and how law enforcement agencies can best tackle the mental health crisis in their communities.