Behavioral Health Unit

Committed to supporting and encouraging mental wellbeing and health in our community

The Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) was established in January 2021 to safely connect people living with or experiencing mental illness, chemical dependency or homelessness to services that can help. BHU launched under the command of Sergeant Max Yakovlev to meet the unique service needs of those experiencing behavioral health challenges in the community. We do this in partnership with Dakota County Social Services.

Pictured: Sergeant Yakovlev, Officer Huston, Mayor Kautz, Officer Archambault

Three members of the Burnsville Police Department with Mayor Kautz at an event in the park.

What to Expect In A Crisis

If you are involved in a mental health-related call with no safety concerns, dispatch will direct your call to the Crisis Response Unit who will respond as soon as possible.

If you are involved in a mental health-related call with safety concerns, officers will respond on scene. Depending on the situation, any of the following may occur:

  1. Officers may detain the person in crisis (which could mean handcuffing) for the safety of everyone involved.
  2. Officers will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if a crime occurred and if the person in crisis is a danger to self or others, or is gravely disabled due to mental illness. Witness and family statements, as well as historical information, are an important part of the investigation.
  3. Officers will also inquire about firearms and weapons and may request a family member or friend take possession of them for safekeeping.

While our BHU team specializes in mental health-related concerns, all Burnsville Police Officers are trained in crisis intervention and have additional training and vast knowledge of resources for crisis situations.

Follow-Up Visits

The BHU attempts to contact all people who experienced crisis after the incident within 48 hours to ensure they have all of the support they need. Depending on staffing and availability, a BHU officer and/or Dakota County Social Worker will visit you at your residence.


If you or a loved one is in crisis and a danger to self or others, call 9-1-1 immediately. For non-emergency crisis, the following resources are here to help:

Contact Sgt. Max Yakovlev for more information by calling 952-641-1107 or emailing

Mental Health-Specific Calls for Service

This does not include other call types that can be mental health-related, such as welfare checks, suicide attempts, or suspicious activity. 

Graph of Burnsville Behavioral Health Unit call stats from Dec. 2021 - Dec. 2022

In-Progress Calls and Follow-Ups

An In-progress call is recorded when a BHU officers responds to a person in crisis. A follow-up is visit by a BHU Officer and occasionally a social worker to the community member up to 48 hours after their crisis incident. 

A graph of the Behavioral Health Unit Calls in Progress Stats

Burnsville's Behavioral Health Unit At Work

Behavioral health calls have been continuously on the rise in recent years and are vastly varied in needs and situations. One recent example started with a call to one of our BHU officers and a Dakota County social worker regarding a potential suicide. 

Due to the specifics of the call, Burnsville officers checked a nearby area for someone in distress while the BHU officer found the person still in their residence. The BHU officer started a conversation and, more importantly, listened. As it turned out, the individual was overwhelmed by life challenges and couldn't see a path for improving their situation. 

Thanks to collaboration efforts and community generosity, the BHU officer and social worker were able to help. Emergency assistance was provided through Dakota County for enough financial relief to pay rent, eliminating a pending eviction. Chaps Thrift Store provided four large bags of groceries that the officer and social worker delivered directly and the individual was connected with Bridging to help with essential apartment furnishing needs.

This situation is one of many representing our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our community.