“A Fireside Chat with Ernie and Joe”
A conversation about Mental Health, Law Enforcement, Equity, and Local Government
In this fireside chat, our featured guest was Joe Smarro, who co-stars with Ernie Stevens in Jenifer McShane’s Emmy Award winning HBO documentary “Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops.” Joe spoke powerfully about his experience as a Mental Health Peace Officer in the San Antonio Police Department with a consistent theme of seeing every person as a human, from a place of compassion and empathy. Together with our subject matter experts in law enforcement leadership, public policy, and local government, Joe fostered a rich conversation highlighting points as diverse as how to initiate and implement a crisis intervention policing program to the challenges and opportunities around serving citizens with mental health issues to the often unacknowledged mental health needs of police officers. Each panelist offered powerful insights from their respective places of influence, and the conversation was rich and substantial.