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NPD Connect & Protect

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $549,336)

The Norwalk Police Department intends to address the social issues involving police response to individuals living with mental health and substance use by funding its Behavioral Health Unit (implementation was funded through ARPA grant funds).  This unit will be maintained going forward through the Norwalk Police Department operating budget, expanding the number of personnel, and identifying and obtaining better methods of tracking data, widening collaborative efforts, further educating first responders, community members, stakeholders and local providers, and further building community trust.  This project will benefit both law enforcement and community alike by way of redirecting individuals needing support away from the criminal justice system and toward appropriate resources. This rerouting of persons in need is expected to reduce recidivism of arrested and/or incarcerated persons, allow police resources to focus on violent crimes or public safety concerns, and lessen the likelihood of a deadly or violent encounter between a police officer and a person experiencing a mental health crisis.  Data collection and analysis will provide important information with which response can be better targeted. Facilitated access to clearer data would allow for the identification of community needs (education/trauma response/advocacy), and would provide insight into macro level issues such as needed policy changes, new program development, and community educational needs.  Community education and information sharing via community meetings and social media will allow for a wider catchment of community members, identification of community needs, response to these needs through the development of programs/training, and ultimately enhance community resilience. Further, NPD will be investigating data collection tools that are geared towards integrating behavioral health and the criminal justice system.

Date Created: September 26, 2023