VPD receives $300,000 grant to fund Integrated Health and Resource Team program – Times-Herald

The Vallejo Police Department announced Tuesday morning that it has received a grant of more than $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing that will go toward supporting the development and deployment of a new integrated health and resource team program.

The program will establish a new Mobile Community Crisis Response Team that will respond to Vallejo’s specific and urgent mental and behavioral health needs.

“The Vallejo Police Department recognizes the need for an appropriate trauma-informed response and services when it comes to caring for our residents experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis,” the Chief said. of police Shawny Williams in a press release. “We are proud to work with our community partners to help reduce officer involvement with people in crisis who need unique and specialized care.”

Police say IHART’s Mobile Crisis Response Unit will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and provide Vallejo residents with a specialized response team trained in trauma-informed response. and mental and behavioral health support.

According to the police, “The Police Service expects best results from deploying a team of highly trained and qualified individuals to respond to calls related to social services, particularly for those experiencing mental health and mental health crises. social services. The team will also be equipped with information regarding medical and housing referrals, outpatient mental health services, addictions support and more to ensure individuals can be connected to longer term services to support their well-being.

Additionally, the statement goes on to state that the integration of the specialized unit “will significantly reduce the need for VPD officers to respond to calls for service related to mental and behavioral health. Replacing police officers with emergency workers, social workers and medical professionals with specialized training in dealing with social and mental health crises will significantly reduce the potential for escalation and eliminate potential triggers for people in difficulty . Incorporating this program into the city’s emergency response toolkit will also provide the VPD with increased capacity to respond to Vallejo’s most urgent and violent crimes.

Vallejo police saw a 37% increase in mental health-related calls, with officers responding to more than 100 mental health-related calls per month. The department is confident that IHART will divert nearly 70% of mental health-related calls to the CIT once established.

Over the next few weeks, the police department will host two public workshops to ensure that IHART’s policies, protocols and priorities are community-led and informed. The workshops will take place on Wednesday, November 16 from 6-8 p.m. and Wednesday, December 7 from 6-8 p.m. in the Vallejo Room, located at 505 Santa Clara Street in Vallejo.

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