Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Friday, Aug. 7, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Receive Grant for Crisis Intervention Training and Jail Diversion Programs
WAKEFIELD – Chief Rick Smith is pleased to announce that the Wakefield Police Department secured a $135,000 Crisis Intervention Training and Jail Diversion Programs grant from the state.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Department of Mental Health awarded Wakefield the funds to support the police department’s Crisis Intervention Team.
Wakefield Police received the same grant in 2012, which allowed them to create the program. Ten officers received 40 hours of intensive mental health and substance abuse training, and a part-time clinician from Eliot Community Human Services began working with officers for immediate and follow-up assistance on a regular basis. The Department is also partnered with Riverside Community Care to work together and maintain the best services possible.
The grant will be broken up over the next three fiscal years, with the department receiving $45,000 in fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018. There is potential for renewal for fiscal years 2019 through 2023.
Since inception, the Crisis Intervention Team has responded to more than 700 calls and provided assistance to best meet the needs of each individual person and case.
Funding over the next three years will allow Wakefield Police to complete ongoing training and secure the department’s clinician position.
The state issued a total of $1.9 million in grants to police departments to allow existing programs to continue and to expand the number of law enforcement agencies developing jail diversion programs that strive to provide treatment instead of incarceration for those experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
“Intervention training for our local police departments will help individuals with mental health issues find appropriate care,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement. “We are proud these grants will offer the assistance, skills and resources for local law enforcement to identify those in need of mental health or substance abuse care and seek out appropriate treatment services.”
A total of 13 departments earned grant funding for the next three years: Arlington, Bedford, Boston, Brockton, Danvers, Fitchburg, Marlborough, Somerville, Taunton, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown and Worcester.