Ernie & Joe Movie 2021

IMDb Rating: approximately 7.9

“Ernie & Joe” is a documentary film directed by Jenifer McShane, released in 2019. The documentary provides an intimate and eye-opening look into the lives of two police officers, Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, who are part of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit. It follows their efforts to revolutionize policing by focusing on crisis intervention and mental health support.


The documentary follows Officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro as they respond to emergency calls involving individuals experiencing mental health crises. Instead of using traditional law enforcement tactics, they employ empathy, de-escalation techniques, and genuine care to help those in crisis. “Ernie & Joe” explores their unique approach to policing, highlighting the importance of mental health support and compassion in law enforcement.


“Ernie & Joe” explores themes related to mental health, policing, crisis intervention, compassion, and the need for reform in law enforcement practices. It showcases the potential for positive change within police departments and the impact of officers who prioritize mental health care.


  • The documentary primarily features Officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, as well as individuals they interact with during their calls for service.

Director and Production Team

  • Director: Jenifer McShane
  • Producers: Jenifer McShane, Howard Gertler, and others


“Ernie & Joe” has received critical acclaim for its compassionate portrayal of the two officers and their innovative approach to policing. It is recognized for shedding light on the pressing issue of mental health crisis intervention within the criminal justice system and the potential for reform.


“Ernie & Joe” is a documentary that offers a powerful and hopeful perspective on policing in the context of mental health crises. It celebrates the compassionate work of Officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro and highlights the transformative impact of their approach. The film serves as a testament to the potential for positive change within law enforcement practices.

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