A drunken woman spat at police three times and kicked another officer in the shin.
Kelly Imeson became involved in a dispute with neighbours in Hewitt Avenue, Ryhope, a court heard.
Gerry Armstrong, defending, said some people in the street saw Imeson as an easy target and deliberately set out to wind her up.
Police were called to the street on October 3, prosecutor Paul Anderson told South Northumbria Magistrates.
"Imeson was reported to have had a screwdriver and been shouting and swearing," said Mr Anderson.
"When police arrived, Imeson spat at two officers, hitting one on the arm and the other on the neck and face."
The court heard police were called again on November 8.
"This time it was by the defendant’s mother," said Mr Anderson. "Imeson was behaving erratically and there was a risk she might do something to harm herself.
"Two police arrived, she kicked one on the shin and spat at the other one, the spittle hitting his left trouser leg. The officers used a towel to prevent further spitting."
Imeson, 38, of Hewitt Avenue, Ryhope, admitted using threatening behaviour, and two charges of assaulting a police officer on October 3.
She admitted two more charges of assaulting a police officer on November 8.
Mr Armstrong said Imeson’s problems stemmed from an abusive domestic relationship which led to her misusing alcohol.
"She hears voices," he added. "The sight of a police officer in uniform makes her think she is going to be taken away, even when she is not.
"Her opinion is that some people in the street were trying to get her tenancy terminated.
"There has been a meeting with the housing provider Gentoo, and they seem to accept the problems are six of one and half a dozen of the other.
"In the long term the only answer to her mental health problems and to prevent her offending is treatment."
The bench sentenced Imeson to a 12-month community order, including an alcohol treatment programme, 30 days of rehabilitation activity, and 80 hours of community work.
Imeson must pay £20 compensation to each of the four police officers she assaulted.