Available to stream: August 31, 2022 12:00 am - September 30, 2022 12:00 am ET


American Bar Association Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops Virtual Event
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ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPS is an intimate portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together these two officers’ experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. These two officers are not your everyday cops. They are part of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit.

View the film ahead of time and then join the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 03:00 PM ET to discuss it with special guest panelists Ernie Stevens and Gilbert Gonzales, both of whom are featured in the film.
This virtual panel event will be moderated by the discussion will be moderated by fellows of the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium and will explore ways in which lessons from the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit might be applied in other communities.

The documentary will be available to stream for students and staff of Consortium member schools from April 30 – May 20.

Bring Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops to your law school with…

  • A 5-year streaming license of Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops
  • Unlimited access to the film, both on- and off-campus, for students and faculty
  • Additional educational resources and a discussion guide

Learn more

September 13, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium discussion of the documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops.

Speaker Bios


Ernest (Ernie) Stevens currently serves as the Deputy Division Director of Law Enforcement for the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Prior, he was a police officer for 28 years, serving 26 years with the San Antonio Police Department where he was a founding member of the Mental Health Unit. Because of this groundbreaking work, he is one of the main subjects in the Emmy Award-winning HBO Documentary, Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops. He was also featured in the NBC documentary, A Different Kind of Force, and on ABC Nightline. Ernie is the author of Mental Health and De-escalation: A Guide for Law Enforcement Professionals, a #1 best-selling book on Amazon. A graduate of Wayland Baptist University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice, Ernie continues to support law enforcement agencies around the nation by providing technical assistance and best-practice approaches to mental health crisis response.



Director, Department of Behavioral and Mental Health

Gilbert Gonzales has more than 30 years of experience in the field of substance abuse and mental health, crisis prevention, and in treatment provision as a clinician, university faculty, project/program director and policy advisor. He has been responsible for development of programs and implementation for community wide jail diversion services. Mr. Gonzales is the first Director for Bexar County’s new Mental Health Department. Gonzales has served as a member of the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Leadership Forum for Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Services, the National Stepping Up Initiative, the White House Data Justice Initiative and is an active member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Counties (NACo). He has also served as the Chair of the Justice Committee of the National Association of Community Behavioral Health Disabilities Directors.


Facilitator Bios


Dedra Brown is a dual-degree 3L, JD/MPA, at the Lincoln Memorial University, Duncan School of Law. She completed her MPA over the summer and has been practicing Immigration Law since her 2L year. She recently received a practicing certificate for the state of TN. In addition, she works as a Research Assistant for the law school.


Taneisha Fair works as a researcher at The Center for Community Solutions, a think tank in Cleveland focused on providing consulting and analysis to government and human service agencies, and advocating for policy solutions to health, economic, and social issues. She is a part-time law student beginning her 2L year at Cleveland State University, currently pursuing a dual JD/MPA degree. She hopes to use her law degree, research, and advocacy skills to help develop reforms in policing and improve racial equity in Cleveland.


About the Consortium

The Consortium is a collaboration between member law schools and the ABA to advance the practice of policing. It recognizes that the key laws and practices on policing are often state and local, and so national progress will come through coordinated state and local progress.  The Consortium will partner with key stakeholders – including community organizations, governmental entities, and police departments – to advance policies, practices, and training materials in support of realizing a policing service that protects the safety and security of all peoples (including the officers themselves), is free of bias and in service to the community.


For more information about the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, follow this link to visit our webpage.

For more information about this event or the Consortium, please contact Consortium Director Jessalyn Walker.

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