This spring, law enforcement personnel in more than 30 cities across the state will work together with mental health experts to better handle calls of distress.
On Wednesday, Governor Phil Murphy visited Perth Amboy to discuss the ten million dollar increase in funding for the “Arrive Together” initiative.
As part of the initiative, professionals in the field of mental health will accompany law enforcement on patrol. Initially, it was a pilot program for the state police.
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Col. Pat Callahan, superintendent of the State Police, expressed a desire that such a program had existed when he was a rookie trooper.
“Most of the time, it’s not illegal activity. This person is the parent of a teenager who is having difficulty dealing with their child’s adolescence. For this reason, Callahan says she wishes she had this program back when she was younger.
Because we’re able to provide the assistance people there need, we’re able to say that this will result in fewer calls for service at the residence. The family has decided to stop making emergency 911 calls.
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According to Matt Platkin, the state’s attorney general, there were no injuries or arrests in spite of the 300 calls received in 2017.
The only time police have used force was when they were following the orders of mental health specialists to commit a person.