LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Mental health clinics could soon be added to Lawrenceville police when they respond to certain types of calls.
The city of Lawrenceville is considering an agreement with the View Point Health Clinic for what is called a “joint response” program.
Two mental health clinicians would work with agents and make mental health-related calls.
The Lawrenceville Police Department sees a large volume of mental health-related calls. So far this year he has received between 150 and 180 calls related to mental health.
“We hope this helps us deal more quickly with someone and get them the help or resources they need,” Lt. Jake Parker told LPD.
Lt. Jake Parker said many of the officers have training on how to handle calls related to people with a mental disorder, but do not replace a mental health professional.
“We know how to handle a lot of problems, but we are not the right source to handle the problem,” Lieutenant Parker said. “When that happens, people fall through the cracks. They don’t get the help they need, they don’t get the referrals and the assets that should be at their disposal because we have to make a decision that really isn’t a law a job. but we will be the first point of contact and we will have to decide at any time, how we will do it. ”
This program is the department’s latest effort to prepare officers.
Last year, LPD implemented certain measures to give them the tools they need to answer mental health calls.
“The ‘one mind campaign’ requires a department to have a substantial policy in place, at least 20% of staff are certified in crisis intervention and up to 100% is trained in mental health first aid and mental health awareness. to establish a working agreement with a community organization that will be an asset to their mental health, ”Lieutenant Parker said.
Currently, 100% of employees have received training in mental health first aid and 30% of agents have received training in crisis intervention.
Lieutenant Parker said programs like this can also help break the cycle and prevent people from going back to prison.
“One of the things that will help is that it will reduce repeated calls and recidivism in our system. We try to avoid imprisonment, we don’t want to do that. There are a lot of cases where we’re prepared to give up charging for someone if we can. “Let’s get him involved in a mental health program. So we hope the response system will help us make that determination faster,” he said.
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