Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $295,176)
The Providence Police Department along with The Providence Center (TPC) understand the mental health crisis in Providence, Rhode Island and its implications to law enforcement policies and practices. Because of this, for over a decade together we have led the effort to improve systems and approaches. Since 2010 TPC has worked in partnership with the Providence Police Department (PPD), aided with prior DOJ grant funds. Together, we have designed and successfully implemented a “co-response” model (police officer teamed with a qualified mental health professional (QMHP)). Through this effort, in 2020, TPC clinicians had over 1,200 “contacts” as a result of emergency calls to the police (either through the statewide 911 system or directly to the PPD), which represented an estimated 15% of all PPD dispatches, involving an individual experiencing a substance use or other behavioral health (BH) episode. As key partners with the responding officers on these calls, the clinicians conduct BH assessments, while on-scene, and prescribe/ deliver appropriate treatment. The effectiveness can be surmised by one important statistic: 95% of all police encounters that have included a TPC clinician have resulted in diversion of those individuals from arrest to treatment. The department is requesting a total grant of $471,075.52 for clinicians and officer training to focus on intervention and diversion.