Commissioners Briones and Ellis Strengthen the HART Program with New Proposals and Oversight Measures

Commissioners Briones and Ellis Strengthen the HART Program with New Proposals and Oversight Measures

June 04 2024

In a comprehensive effort to maintain and bolster the Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART) program, Commissioner Lesley Briones and Commissioner Rodney Ellis have overseen proposals targeted to support the program's longevity and enhance the oversight of this vital public safety initiative, according to a release issued by officials.

HART, initially set up in March 2022, is designed to alleviate the stress placed on law enforcement when responding to non-violent 911 calls by providing an alternate response team, comprised of professionals trained in behavioral health and on-the-spot medical assistance.

"Police play a critical role in public safety but they can’t do it alone. That’s why I was committed to fully funding public safety when I took office, including expanding the HART program into District IV (which includes much of Precinct 4). I remain committed to HART, and I am energized by the opportunity to enact changes that will ensure the program meets its full potential,” Commissioner Briones highlighted.

Among the motions presented by Commissioner Briones and Commissioner Rodney Ellis, which were passed by the Commissioners Court, was a response to allegations of mismanagement by the current program vendor, DEMA Consulting and Management. The Commissioners Court-approved plan comprises a series of actions, including a contract amendment request, the preparation of a proposal by the Office of County Administration (OCA) and Harris County Public Health (HCPH) to bring HART in-house, enhanced reporting on HART, and the application of a technical assistance grant.

To learn more about HART in Harris County, visit the Harris County Public Heath website

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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