Craig Davis, Chief
137 Main Street
Ashland, MA 01721
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 17, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Ashland Police Chief Honored by Department of Mental Health
ASHLAND — The Ashland Police Department is pleased to announce that Chief Craig Davis received an award for Exemplary Performance for Leadership in Law Enforcement from the Department of Mental Health (DMH) last week.
Chief Davis was honored during DMH’s annual Mental Health and Law Enforcement Conference, which was held at Fitchburg State University on June 8. He is the first law enforcement officer to receive this award, stemming from his creation of the state’s first police/mental health co-responder model 13 years ago.
The program, developed with Dr. Sarah Abbott of Advocates, Inc., embeds a mental health clinician within the police department to respond alongside officers to calls involving someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Dr. Abbott received a similar award from DMH at the conference.
Chief Davis originally developed the program with Dr. Abbott while he was a Deputy Chief with the Framingham Police Department, and then brought the program regionally to Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton and Sherborn shortly after being appointed Chief of the Ashland Police Department. The program has been replicated in many other communities across the state, and is often hailed as a model for police and mental health partnerships.
“The chiefs in these communities were very receptive to the idea of our program’s creation,” Chief Davis said. “I am proud of how our ideas have grown into an effective, life-changing program for residents in our community and surrounding communities.”
On Tuesday, June 14, Chief Davis testified on Beacon Hill in support of Senate bill 2320, further advocating for mental health resources within police departments. This bill would create a statewide resource for police departments to receive training, technical assistance and guidance on how to improve response to people with behavioral health issues, as well as create police and mental health collaborations.