EXCLUSIVE: BET+ is developing a scripted drama series about the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit, from Devon Shepard (Good Times, Bigger) playwright Lina Patel (Cherish The Day, Krypton) and Nacelle Company.
Created by Shepard and Patel, the as-yet untitled project is about the Mental Evaluation Unit of the LAPD, which has a therapist ride with an LAPD officer to answer mental health calls.
The logline: After the officer-involved shooting of a mentally ill man, two women – a skeptical police officer and an idealistic clinician – are forced to work together at the razor’s edge where law enforcement meets mental health and the stakes at home and on the job are life and death.
The LAPD’s MEU (Mental Evaluation Unit) has been in existence for over four decades to assist patrol officers with mental health-related calls. According to the LAPD, the program uses a multilayered approach that includes triage by trained dispatchers, a 24-hour triage line, co-response teams, follow-up case managers, and focused community engagement; embedded mental health officials in police agency, comprehensive data collection and information-sharing procedures; a training strategy that includes 40-hour Mental Health Intervention Training and a Mental Health Crisis Response Program Advisory Board for engaging community partners.
Shepard and Patel serve as creators of the project. Shepard excutive produces with Nacelle Company’s Brian Volk-Weiss, Matt Ochacher, and Michael Pelmont. Patel and LAPD Captain Brian Bixler serve as co-executive producers.