Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $482,555)
The Chesterfield County Police department seeks to fund overtime activities of sworn officers assigned to mental health calls to promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs who encounter law enforcement and improve public safety. Chesterfield County, Virginia, home to over 360,000 residents, has answered an average of 1,000 incoming calls to the 24/7 crisis line each month, for the past decade. Many of these calls originate from Chesterfield Police Department and often result in overcrowded emergency rooms and psychiatric units. Significant expenses are currently associated with the current model of mental health treatment in Virginia. Each day of psychiatric hospitalization for an individual costs roughly $1,000 whether funded by insurance, or through state allocated regional funds for uninsured individuals. The cost associated with long duration ER admissions, extended hours or multiple days of law enforcement in-custody time, and transportation to designated hospitals, is a huge community expense.