Mental Health Task Force
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Mental Health Task Force (MHTF)
PRIMARY MISSION OF THE GCSO MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE
Sheriff Keybo Taylor and the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office have pledged to create a county wide culture in which residents with mental health concerns are not criminalized for having a mental illness. The MHTF will respond to individuals in the community with mental health illnesses whom are presenting in an acute crisis symptomatic of severe mental illness rather than overt criminality. The MHTF deputies will undergo extensive and ongoing specialized training in Verbal De-escalation techniques, Crisis Intervention Team techniques/philosophy, as well as recognition of severe mental illnesses, personality disorders, psychopathy, developmental deficits, autism and substance abuse. Additionally, the MHTF will be recognized community advocates for the rights, safety, and treatment of the severely mentally ill of Gwinnett County.
The main objective of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Task Force is to actively reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and act as an instrument of advocacy to stem the decade’s long migration of the mentally ill into the criminal justice
Mental Health Task Force Commander Major Trakida Maldonado, LPC, NCC
Trakida Maldonado was appointed major to the Mental Health Task Force for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office on April 16, 2022. She has 20 years of law enforcement experience with the Muscogee County Sheriff Office, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gwinnett County School Police Department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from Troy State University and a master’s degree in community counseling from Argosy University — College of Psychology and Behavioral Science. Major Maldonado is a licensed professional counselor and holds accreditation as a National Board Certified Counselor with a specialty in mental health. She has over 10 years of clinical experience ranging from crisis intervention, substance abuse, and psychotherapy for adults and adolescents. Additionally, Major Maldonado serves as a behavioral specialist in the emergency department at Emory Healthcare. She is dedicated to serving the community and working relentlessly to help reduce the stigma attached to mental illness.
Dr. Dana E. Tatum
|Dr. Dana E. Tatum serves as the Clinical Director and Program Coordinator for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Task Force. He has spent the past 30 years working in the correctional environment as a clinician, treatment innovator, advocate and trainer in all areas of correctional and forensic psychology. Throughout his career, he has worked to reduce the stigma of mental illness while increasing the safety of both the mentally ill and those charged with the responsibility of treating and detaining those persons. He has also spent over 20 years as a psychological consultant and trainer to S.W.A.T. and hostage negotiation teams. Since 1999, he has served as a volunteer trainer and on scene consultant for organizations in over 9 states including the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Gwinnett County Police Department. Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Tatum served as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for a national correctional health care provider. While in that position, he was responsible for the mental health treatment of over 46,000 detained and incarcerated persons in 28 jails and 17 prisons in 9 states. Dr. Tatum continues his work as a forensic psychological consultant in live crisis situations as well as open and cold criminal investigations. Furthermore, Dr. Tatum is a nationally known lecturer, consultant and trainer to behavioral health clinicians, Graduate students, medical students, law enforcement, and correctional officers.|