MENTAL HEALTH DEPUTY PROGRAM
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Our community is challenged with an increasing number of 9-1-1 calls related to acute mental health crisis. I have worked to divert, where safe and appropriate, as many people as possible affected by mental health from the criminal justice system to treatment and other needed social services.
Last year, I started a mental health deputy program. A specially trained deputy having strong relationships with the mental health and social service system responds and tries to find long-term solutions. A social worker often accompanies the deputies to these incidents. The program has been a huge success and a second deputy is now assigned.
We are also training all deputies and many local police officers on options for treatment/services over jail. This is the way for the future that leads to increased safety, more humane treatment and long-term decreased costs.