Bangor PD Has a New Way to Help People in Mental Health Crisis
Bangor Police announce a new Community Action Team in Bangor that will help people experiencing a mental health crisis.
How Much Time is Devoted to Dealing With Mental Health-Related Calls?
It's amazing how much time police officers spend answering calls that have nothing to do with crime. Bangor Police Sergeant Jason McAmbley says the average police officer responds to approximately 4,000 welfare checks per year. These can include anything from elderly people who aren't answering the phone to people with mental illness who are thought to be suicidal. These types of calls can be time-consuming, taking police officers away from investigating crime.
What Will the Community Action Team Do?
In Bangor, police are dealing with this situation through the use of a new team of professionals who will take those non-threatening mental health calls. McAmbley says the aim of this new Community Action Team is to cut that 4,000 calls annually in half, so police can spend more time doing police work.
The team is not yet formed, as the folks at Bangor Public Health create a job description and firm up the parameters and requirements of the job. Once that's completed, the job openings will likely be posted on the City of Bangor's website.
Will the Team Members Be Accompanied By Police?
McAmbley says they expect police officers will be going along with the team members, in the beginning, to help them learn the job. Once they become more familiar and comfortable in the role, the police will let them work independently. Officers will always be available, however, to assist them if the situation becomes potentially dangerous.