ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPSDirected by Jenifer McShane
On average, U.S. Police Academy candidates spend 60 hours or more learning how to shoot a gun — and only eight on mental health and communication. This vérité portrait follows Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, two San Antonio police officers working to change this service discrepancy. They run a Mental Health Unit focused on diverting the mentally ill away from jail and into health treatment by redefining long-held police practices with their innovative and compassionate approach. While the country debates the ethics of unchecked policing, this absorbing piece of small-scale storytelling shows how the system must also be willing to change from the inside.
IN PERSON: Director, Jennifer McShane and film subjects, Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro
PRODUCERS: Jenifer McShane
CINEMATOGRAPHER: E.J. Enriquez
EDITOR: Toby Shimin