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Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Pathway program will provide a law enforcement-behavioral health response in partnership with Volunteer Behavioral Health Care Services.

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $372,659)

Rutherford County, TN Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) and Volunteer Behavioral Health (VBH) is committed to a collaborative effort to provide a law enforcement-behavioral health response to the citizens of Rutherford County. Under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)  “Connect and Protect Grant”, the RCSO’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Deputies and VBH Co-Responders will partner in a new program called “Police Assistance To mental Health Wellness And You or PATHWAY. PATHWAY will provide advanced and priority response to the countless individuals that present Mental Health Disorders (MHDs) or Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders (MHSUDs) within our 624 square mile suburban and rural areas. With an astounding growth rate of 33.5 % since 2010, Rutherford County’s population has exceeded 357,000. Our resources are increasingly strained with the influx of individuals with MHDs and co-occurring MHSUDs reflective of over 1400 emergency committals in 2022. In the past, along with the success stories and achievements accomplished, there are an increasingly number of individuals that we have failed for lack of resources, manpower, options and focus. Our goal is to promote and implement a collaborative effort towards each individual case with PATHWAY teams, resulting in a correct and validated assessment in each case. Volunteer Behavioral Health clinicians will assist deputies on site to reduce self- harm or injuries to persons through de-escalation techniques and evaluations. As a result this will have an immediate impact in the reduction of incarcerated individuals and promote mental health wellness. One element that stands out, is the unique opportunity to assess an individual’s needs, provide a vast array of options within the PATHWAY program, proactively monitor one’s progress to a better tomorrow which reduces recidivism. With the Bureau of Justice Assistance “Connect and Protect Grant” award of $372,660, it will without a doubt propel Rutherford County forward in the awareness and treatment of those in desperate need for a better PATHWAY to life.

Date Created: September 26, 2023