Earlier this summer the Seneca Falls Police Department rolled out a new program in collaboration with Seneca County Mental Health and Finger Lakes C-PEP. It put tablets in the hands of law enforcement for the purpose of connecting the community with mental health services. Specifically, when officers are dispatched to scenes where mental health comes into play.
Mental health advocates have been calling for alternatives to dialing 9-1-1 for some time; and those calls have grown louder this summer. While this program won’t create an alternative, it’s an aggressive move to get mental health professionals involved in incidents that law enforcement would otherwise have to navigate alone.
Today on the show, a conversation with Seneca Falls Police Chief Stuart Peenstra, Seneca County Director of Community Services Margaret Morse, and Rochester Regional C-PEP Manager Heidi Keyser about the program, and how it has helped other communities achieve better outcomes.