NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Since the launch of the Metro Nashville Police Department’s “Partners in Care” program in June 2021, mental health officers and clinicians have jointly responded to nearly 1,500 calls in three precincts in addition to a year.
The program is a partnership between the Metropolitan Police and the Mental Health Co-op to assist with community calls when someone is experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
Partners in Care offers participating officers the opportunity to complete a 40-hour Crisis Response Team course and pairs officers with a trained mental health clinician while on patrol and on calls where their skills could be useful.
According to the MNPD, about 96% of the time a clinician was also on site, the result was something other than an arrest, which they say is a sign of success for the program.
Although the training is available to all officers and supervisors in all eight MNPD constituencies, partnership with clinicians is limited to three constituencies: North, Hermitage and Central.
An MNPD spokesperson said the program will expand to South Nashville in November. The spokesperson explained that due to the number of clinicians and training hours required for this partnership, it takes time to roll it out to all boroughs.
After Landon Eaststep died in an officer-involved shooting on Interstate 65 in January, his wife said she wishes a mental health professional was there to help her late husband through what she described as his battle with mental health issues.
“There were so many options that could have been taken that weren’t, and to me that’s unacceptable,” she said in February.
However, while some of the officers in the area have received crisis intervention training, the Partners in Care program has not fully expanded to the compound that includes the portion of I-65 where the shooting took place. is produced.