DCF Holds Steering Committee On Executive Order To Enhance Behavioral Health And Law Enforcement Collaboration

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018


TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) today convened the first meeting of the Executive Steering Committee on Executive Order 18-81 in Tallahassee. Governor Scott signed the order on March 26, directing DCF to enhance collaboration with law enforcement in each Florida county to improve the coordination of behavioral health services for individuals in need. To view Executive Order 18-81, click HERE.

“Close coordination of services between DCF, mental health treatment providers, and law enforcement is essential for the success of Florida’s coordinated system of care,” said John N. Bryant, DCF’s Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “By bringing together representatives from various organizations who help address behavioral health treatment and safety across state, we can improve service delivery methods and truly make an impact for the citizens of Florida.”

The first meeting of the steering committee was led by Mr. Bryant and the committee reviewed the objectives of the Executive Order, outlined the role of the committee members, developed an action plan for implementation, and discussed the required final report. Mr. Bryant also provided an overview of new funding allocated for crisis services in the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget.

The Executive Steering Committee is comprised of state agency leadership, law enforcement, and education and treatment representatives whose knowledge, insights, and experience will aid in the development of an implementation plan and recommendations on how to best meet the behavioral health and public safety needs of Florida’s citizens. Committee members will also play a vital role in supporting regional and local meetings. Members include:

  • John N. Bryant, DCF Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health
  • Justin Senior, Secretary, Agency for Health Care Administration
  • Rick Swearingen, Commissioner, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Christina Daly, Secretary, Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Rebecca Kapusta, DCF Assistant Secretary for Operations
  • Matt Dunagan, Florida Sheriffs Association
  • Natalie Kelly, Florida Association of Managing Entities
  • Amy Mercer, Florida Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Joy Frank, General Counsel, Florida Association of District School Superintendents

Contact: DCF Press Office, (850) 717-4450