Behavioral Health Unit
Committed to supporting and encouraging mental wellbeing and health in our community
The Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) was established in January 2021 to safely connect people living with or experiencing mental illness, chemical dependency or homelessness to services that can help. BHU launched under the command of Sergeant Max Yakovlev to meet the unique service needs of those experiencing behavioral health challenges in the community. We do this in partnership with Dakota County Social Services.
Pictured: Sergeant Yakovlev, Officer Huston, Mayor Kautz, Officer Archambault
What to Expect In A Crisis
If you are involved in a mental health-related call with no safety concerns, dispatch will direct your call to the Crisis Response Unit who will respond as soon as possible.
If you are involved in a mental health-related call with safety concerns, officers will respond on scene. Depending on the situation, any of the following may occur:
- Officers may detain the person in crisis (which could mean handcuffing) for the safety of everyone involved.
- Officers will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if a crime occurred and if the person in crisis is a danger to self or others, or is gravely disabled due to mental illness. Witness and family statements, as well as historical information, are an important part of the investigation.
- Officers will also inquire about firearms and weapons and may request a family member or friend take possession of them for safekeeping.
While our BHU team specializes in mental health-related concerns, all Burnsville Police Officers are trained in crisis intervention and have additional training and vast knowledge of resources for crisis situations.
The BHU attempts to contact all people who experienced crisis after the incident within 48 hours to ensure they have all of the support they need. Depending on staffing and availability, a BHU officer and/or Dakota County Social Worker will visit you at your residence.
If you or a loved one is in crisis and a danger to self or others, call 9-1-1 immediately. For non-emergency crisis, the following resources are here to help:
- Dakota County Crisis 952-891-7171, available 24/7
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline call or text 9-8-8, available 24/7 (formerly National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Dakota County 952-432-9278
- NAMI National Helpline 1-800-950-6264
Contact Sgt. Max Yakovlev for more information by calling 952-641-1107 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health-Specific Calls for Service
This does not include other call types that can be mental health-related, such as welfare checks, suicide attempts, or suspicious activity.
In-Progress Calls and Follow-Ups
An In-progress call is recorded when a BHU officers responds to a person in crisis. A follow-up is visit by a BHU Officer and occasionally a social worker to the community member up to 48 hours after their crisis incident.
Burnsville's Behavioral Health Unit At Work
Behavioral health calls have been continuously on the rise in recent years and are vastly varied in needs and situations. One recent example started with a call to one of our BHU officers and a Dakota County social worker regarding a potential suicide.
Due to the specifics of the call, Burnsville officers checked a nearby area for someone in distress while the BHU officer found the person still in their residence. The BHU officer started a conversation and, more importantly, listened. As it turned out, the individual was overwhelmed by life challenges and couldn't see a path for improving their situation.
Thanks to collaboration efforts and community generosity, the BHU officer and social worker were able to help. Emergency assistance was provided through Dakota County for enough financial relief to pay rent, eliminating a pending eviction. Chaps Thrift Store provided four large bags of groceries that the officer and social worker delivered directly and the individual was connected with Bridging to help with essential apartment furnishing needs.
This situation is one of many representing our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our community.