Nashville expands program pairing police with mental health workers
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.
PREVIOUSLY:Partners in Care program set to expand; leaders share third-quarter data
City leaders, including Nashville Mayor John Cooper, have said they plan to expand the program in the future. A total of 70 MNPD officers have completed 40 hours of crisis training to support precincts that do not have the co-response model — a move meant to support the program’s future growth, MNPD said. A mobile crisis team is also available to all precincts.
Earlier this month, leaders presented data from the pilot so far and said the city’s South Precinct is expected to join by the end of the year.
The program is supported by over $560,000 in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan, a news release from the mayor’s office stated. Cooper included plans to double the program in his latest budget proposal, in coordination with the Mental Health Cooperative.
Find reporter Rachel Wegner at email@example.com or on Twitter @rachelannwegner.
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