Health professionals to assist 911 calls involving mental health concerns

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Three Franklin County police departments have teamed with Clinical & Support Options (CSO) to receive assistance during police calls involving mental health concerns.

Greenfield, Deerfield, and Montague officers will now be able to call for assistance from a mental health clinician who will provide expertise in the area of emotional and mental health as well as behavioral de-escalation.

“Jail diversion and de-escalation strategies have been a longtime focus of CSO, especially in Franklin County,” said CSO President & CEO Karin Jeffers, “Our partnering Police Departments have been committed supporters of these community policing efforts. This sanctioned co-response position is the next logical progression in that ongoing cooperative relationship.”

“Over the past three years, the Greenfield Police Department has been funded by and has been working closely with the Department of Mental Health in providing advanced training to our officers in behavioral health crisis intervention,” said Greenfield Police Deputy Chief William Gordon.

The position will be a full-time employee of CSO and will follow up with residents when appropriate. The three police departments say the assistance of a mental health expert will be beneficial to both residents and officers.

“Police are not always the appropriate response to these calls,” said Deerfield Police Chief John Paciorek. “Being 9-1-1, however, we are often the first on scene. The faster a person in crisis can be de-escalated and identify avenues for treatment, the better the experience will be for them.”

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