Nashville expands program pairing police with mental health workers

Michael Randolph, who helps oversee the mental health workers in the Partners in Care program, describes the work going on at the Crisis Response Center on Dec. 2.

Nashville’s Central Precinct is the third and latest to join a crisis response program that pairs mental health workers with police.

The precinct, which includes downtown, was added to the program Monday, the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a news release. So far, one mental health clinician has been added as a co-responder in the Central Precinct. A second is set to join in June, MNPD said. 

The program teams masters-level mental health clinicians with officers on calls flagged as potential mental health crises. The program aims to divert people in crisis to intervention and offer them resources rather than the legal system.

The program launched last summer and is nearing the end of its pilot year. It covers the Hermitage, North and Central precincts and has logged around 3,000 calls — with only 4% of those resulting in arrests, MNPD said.

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