Kennewick PD Out Front With Mental Health Pros Assisting on Calls
It's a growing trend across the nation.
USA Today recently did reporting for a lengthy piece (which unfortunately cannot be hyperlinked because of a paywall, apologies) entitled, "It's Working in Eugene, Olympia, Denver: More Cities are sending civilian responders, not police, on mental health calls" about how police departments across America are incorporating mental health professionals in the wave of first responders to specific situations especially when trained personnel in this area can be on sight to assist in ways maybe not attempted before.
Since 2018, officers from the Kennewick Police Department have been leading the way in this regard, as the rest of the country plays catch-up. Moreover, many law enforcement eyes around the nation have been on KPD since this pilot program was launched 3 years ago.
The KPD Facebook post features the two mental health professionals shown above with the title, Placing Mental Health Professionals at the Point of Greatest Need. These individuals are assigned to the department and work directly with officers on a daily basis.
Lourdes Health and local law enforcement agencies have been in partnership co-response mode for some time now and the positive results cannot be denied. The pairing of mental health professionals with officers brings both mental health awareness and mental health resources to community policing efforts in the Tri-Cities.
This is the positive evolution of policing. Officers with the education and resources to identify, de-escalate and assist community members who are suffering from mental illness or experiencing a crossroads point of crisis in their life's journey.
The Kennewick Police Department is proud to be a positive representation of this groundbreaking program and would like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of these professionals.