Ernie & Joe


Arizona Premiere! Winner! Special Jury Award, SXSW.

Followed by a post-film discussion with Judy Kowalick, Sgt. Jason Winsky and Sabrina Taylor.

A graceful and empathetic look at a new kind of police force, Ernie & Joe is a moving portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls.

“A beautiful documentary … a shockingly emotional and human look at a new kind of police force.” – James Roberts, Glide Magazine

The film takes audiences on a personal journey, braiding together experiences during Ernie and Joe’s daily encounters with people in crisis. These are not your everyday cops; dressed in polos and jeans, brandishing no weapons, they sit down with distraught and potentially violent people to talk. They listen. They take their time. Ernie and Joe are doing the work and walking the walk. Amid heightened scrutiny of police-community relations, and deepening understanding of mental health issues, Jenifer McShane’s documentary offers proof of an enlightened way forward and is testament to the profound impact of this unique approach (Dir. by Jenifer McShane, 2019, USA, 96 mins., Not Rated)  Other festivals: SXSW; AFI Docs, Doc NYC

Sabrina Taylor, Crisis Intervention Squad, Phoenix Police Department 

Det. Sabrina Taylor has been a police officer for 15 years. She served 5 years on the Los Angeles Police Department and 10 years with Phoenix Police Department. Sabrina has been a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certified officer for 8 years and is currently  assigned to the Phoenix Police CIT Squad as the coordinator. She is also a board member of CIT International and assists other agencies with their CIT programs.

Sgt. Jason Winsky, Mental Health Support Team, Tucson Police Department 

Sergeant Jason Winsky is a leading expert in the field of law enforcement approaches to mental health and substance abuse. During his 15 years at the Tucson Police Department, he has led the growth and development of numerous programs that have received national recognition for their innovative approach and positive outcomes. Under Sgt. Winsky’s leadership, the Tucson Police Department was recognized as a Law Enforcement – Mental Health Collaboration Learning Site by the US Department of Justice. He has received numerous awards, including the National Council for Behavioral Health MHFA Community Impact Award and the Arizona Capitol Times Healthcare Leader of the Year, and frequently speaks at national conferences related to policing and mental health.

Judy Kowalick, Family-to-Family Coordinator, Homefront Coordinator, NAMI Southern Arizona

My name is Judy Kowalick. My 39-year-old son has lived with mental illness since middle school. He is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. I began working at NAMI Southern Arizona over 20 years ago educating family members and close loved ones of adults with mental illness. I attended the first NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program in Southern Arizona in 2001 and have been coordinating this program since then. This helpful program helps people understand what their loved one is going through, how their behavior is affected, communication skills, how the brain is affected, medications self-care and much more.

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