ROWLEY — The Chiefs of the Rowley, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, and Newbury Police Departments announced they have been awarded funding through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Jail/Arrest Diversion Grant Program, to implement a “Component Jail Diversion Program.”
Through a collaborative partnership with Beth Israel Lahey Health Behavioral Services, funding will be utilized to hire a Jail Diversion Clinician to work collectively with each of the five police departments. The Jail Diversion Clinician will assist in co-response for behavioral health calls, perform brief assessments to determine appropriate service connections, facilitate diversion from arrest where appropriate, and assist in increasing competencies within the police departments; ultimately strengthening each agency’s response to behavioral health crisis.
Additional funding will be utilized to provide increased behavioral health training to members of each of the five partner agencies, in an effort to: increase citizen and officer safety; increase the services available to our community members; decrease unnecessary arrests; decrease undue stress on the emergency services system; and successfully divert behavioral health patients to treatment or connect to services as needed.
Through this funding opportunity the partner agencies have successfully identified, and are actively addressing, an existing gap in services within the five communities. This initiative is the first step in helping strengthen our community’s behavioral health from within, while also minimizing our impact on local emergency services.
Additional information will be made available as the program reaches the next stage of implementation.