Overland Park Police create new mental health crisis unit — here’s how its response could be different

Overland Park Police mental health

The 12 officers who are part of Overland Park Police's new Crisis Action Team will wear toned-down uniforms that look different from other officers' and unmarked cars. It's an attempt police officials say to keep people calm when they arrive on scene in situations involving potential mental health crises. Image via Overland Park Police presentation.

The new mental health unit of the Overland Park Police Department will make its debut next year with toned-down uniforms, plain black vehicles and a therapy dog — all intended to keep anxiety levels down when responders go on a mental health call.

Earlier this month, Police Chief Frank Donchez gave the city council’s public safety committee an early look at what to expect when operations begin.