Since 2019, Tri-City Law Enforcement has benefited from the help of mental health professionals, who have been invaluable.
The program started with a grant, but now it expires
As we reported in November 2019, the grant was awarded by the Lourdes Health Network Outreach Team, and the $1 million+ grant enabled up to 3 healthcare professionals mentally trained to accompany or be available at all times for officers in the area.
These workers were tasked with assisting dozens of citizens in various states of distress during police calls to be helped or prevented from harming themselves or others. Many calls from the police were not of people who needed to be arrested, but of people in various states of emotional or mental distress.
End of program due to expiration of grant
Now local officials say the grant is expiring or has been exhausted and the program will end very soon.
Although there are no mental health professionals on board, law enforcement in the area can still call the 24-hour crisis center for help when these cases arise.
But given the emotional state of many people, especially post-COVID, it is hoped that another such grant or funding can be found to resume the program.