Mental Health Unit


The mission of the Mental Health Unit is to provide assistance to individuals suffering from mental health illness and crisis through counseling and diversion, medical help and stabilization, coordination for placement in mental health facilities or treatment centers, and connecting individuals with resources and referrals for continuity of care. We are dedicated to positively impacting the quality of life for citizens of San Marcos and treating all people, including individuals who happen to have an illness, with dignity and respect.

In 2022, the Mental Health Unit received 2,431 calls for service, including:

  • 1,012 mental health investigations
  • 436 suicidal persons
  • 590 mental health follow-ups
  • 321 emergency detentions
  • 72 therapy K-9 deployments

The San Marcos Police Department's Mental Health Unit consists of one corporal, two officers, and certified therapy K-9s. Normal duty hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Contact Us

For Emergencies: 9-1-1
Non-Emergency Dispatch: 512-753-2108
Voicemail: 512-393-8081 x9100# 

Email the Police Mental Health Unit

Suicide Hotline

Therapy K-9 Program

The San Marcos Police Mental Health Unit's three certified therapy K-9s assist officers on calls by attempting to decrease anxiety and stress that people in crisis may be experiencing. The therapy K-9s also assist at the Scheib Center in San Marcos and meet with clients dealing with stress when requested. To request assistance, leave a message at 512-393-8081 ext. 9100.

Meet the Therapy K-9s:

Sheldon Cooper, a collie mix, joined the SMPD Mental Health Unit in 2017. It was the first time in history that a Texas law enforcement agency added a therapy dog to its mental health unit. Sheldon is the personal dog of Officer Bender, who she donated to SMPD's mental health program when it was founded. Together Officer Bender and Sheldon attended a training program in Florida and became a nationally registered therapy dog team. 

Sophie is a Shiba Inu mixed with American Eskimo, commonly referred to as Imo-Inu. She graduated from the Brevard County Sheriff's Paws and Stripes Academy in Florida and became a nationally certified multi-disciplinary therapy K-9 team with her handler, Officer Bender, in June 2021. When not responding to a crisis, Sophie spends her time visiting officers and 911 telecommunications at the San Marcos Police Department. She's also a regular at local emergency rooms and community functions.

Sheldon 2

Crisis Response

Our officers strive to provide mental health intervention to individuals suffering from mental illness. This intervention may include crisis counseling, medical help and stabilization, placement in a mental health facility or treatment center, and providing information and referrals to other helpful service providers.

Investigative Support and Follow up

Our officers respond to calls for service regarding individuals who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis. We also conduct home and follow-up visits to help divert future crisis and calls for service.

Hill Country MHDD and MCOT

We work with Hill Country Community MHDD and the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) in crisis situations. MCOT is designed to bring expert psychiatric assistance to individuals in the community setting.

Hill Country Community MHDD
Mobile Crisis Outreach Team

1200 N. Bishop San Marcos, Texas 78666 512-392-7151

Emergency Crisis Line: 1-877-466-0660

National Suicide Prevention and Veteran Crisis Line:1-800-273-TALK (8255)