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At Aspen Mountain Film Fest, 'Ernie & Joe' Looks At Compassionate Policing

Aug 21, 2019

Still from "Ernie And Joe: Crisis Cops"
Credit hbo.com

The Aspen Mountain Film Fest runs at the Wheeler Opera House this week.  The five-day festival includes films and events about everything from conservation to sports to community advocates.

 

The film "Ernie & Joe" sees its Colorado premiere this week.

The feature-length documentary follows San Antonio police officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, who head up the department’s Mental Health Unit.  

Smarro says the film is meant to help show how a compassionate response can help people in crisis. 

"I think it goes against what a lot of people would believe that a law enforcement unit would ever be doing," he said.

The film will be followed by a panel on community policing with Stevens, Smarro, Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor and Kathryn Hundertmark of Aspen’s Co-Responder program.

“Ernie & Joe” starts at 7 p.m. on Friday.