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Politics & Government

Milford Police Department hires full-time behavioral health specialist

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The Milford Police Department recently made its behavioral health specialist full-time.

The Milford Police Department now has a full-time behavioral health specialist.

The Milford City Council recently approved hiring a specialist full-time by a vote of 6 to 0 with one councilman absent. 

Police Chief Kenneth Brown says the need to make the position full-time became clear after having one only part-time.

 

“Towards the end of last year, we started with a part time behavioral health clinician riding with our officers. And we quickly realized that one of the problems with that is that - we only had her for 15-20 hours a week; and it just wasn’t enough coverage, because you know how that works - they’re never here when you really them them,” he said.

 

And Brown adds officers regularly face incidents they aren’t trained to handle alone.

 

“We had an incident the other day because our clinician wasn’t working at that particular time. And we had an incident where we needed a mobile crisis person there and we had to wait for them to come from Wilmington," said Brown. "That’s the kind of thing we’re trying to avoid by hiring our own clinician who will be right here and ready to respond or actually riding with the officers.”

 

Brown says hiring the specialist full time costs $85,000 and will not only work with behavioral health issues that officers encounter in the city, but will also act as a victim’s advocate.

 

The city’s chief financial officer tells Brown the salary can be paid with money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

 
He says he’s also looking at hiring at least two new part-time people so he has about 18 hours of coverage per day to help his officers deal with mental health situations in the field.

An additional $50,000 would be needed to fund those positions.