Commissioner Briones, Commissioner Ellis lead comprehensive effort to preserve and strengthen Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART) program.

04 Jun, 24

Harris County Commissioners approved proposals to continue, strengthen, and expand the Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART) program. These policies will support our county’s mobile crisis responders and protect HART, ensure its integrity, and establish clear evaluation criteria and oversight.  

HART, launched in March 2022, aims to reduce the burden on law enforcement of responding to non-violent 911 calls by diverting callers to personnel trained in behavioral health and on‐scene medical assistance. By redirecting some individuals to critical community services, HART allows law enforcement to focus on their most important work: tackling violent crime.  

"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 said.  

Commissioners Court passed motions presented by Commissioner Briones and Commissioner Rodney Ellis to address allegations of mismanagement by the current program vendor, DEMA Consulting and Management. 

The plan approved by Commissioners Court includes the following action items:  

  • Request for contract amendment presented at the June 25 Court;
  • Harris County Public Health (HCPH) must issue Request for Proposal for service provider for HART by July 15;
  • Office of County Administration (OCA) and HCPH must create a plan to bring HART in-house and bring proposal to Court on July 15;
  • Request enhanced reporting on HART, including plan and timeline for expansion to three districts and going to 24/7 service;
  • OCA Research and Analysis Division must produce report analyzing 911 calls for service for Harris County Sheriff’s Office districts; 
  • Request OCA and Public Health apply for technical assistance grant;
  • Request OCA project manage and help coordinate delivery and implementation of the motions.