His order reads in part:
Sec. 4. Mental Health, Homelessness, and Addiction. (a) Since the mid-twentieth century, America has witnessed a reduction in targeted mental health treatment. Ineffective policies have left more individuals with mental health needs on our Nation's streets, which has expanded the responsibilities of law enforcement officers. As a society, we must take steps to safely and humanely care for those who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse in a manner that addresses such individuals' needs and the needs of their communities. It is the policy of the United States to promote the use of appropriate social services as the primary response to individuals who suffer from impaired mental health, homelessness, and addiction, recognizing that, because law enforcement officers often encounter such individuals suffering from these conditions in the course of their duties, all officers should be properly trained for such encounters.
(b) The Attorney General shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services as appropriate, identify and develop opportunities to train law enforcement officers with respect to encounters with individuals suffering from impaired mental health, homelessness, and addiction; to increase the capacity of social workers working directly with law enforcement agencies; and to provide guidance regarding the development and implementation of co-responder programs, which involve social workers or other mental health professionals working alongside law enforcement officers so that they arrive and address situations together. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall prioritize resources, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to support such opportunities.
(c) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall survey community-support models addressing mental health, homelessness, and addiction. Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall summarize the results of this survey in a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, which shall include specific recommendations regarding how appropriated funds can be reallocated to support widespread adoption of successful models and recommendations for additional funding, if needed.
(d) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, in coordination with the Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, prioritize resources, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to implement community-support models as recommended in the report described in subsection (c) of this section.
The Franklin Police Department is already actively engaged in this process on many levels. For mental health calls for service and follow up we already have in place our Jail Diversion Program (https://www.franklinma.gov/police-department/pages/jail-diversion-program). Our clinician responds with officers to calls where citizens may be involved in a mental health crisis. The work done there helps determine if the person in crisis is best served by remaining in the community, or needs immediate treatment and transport to the hospital.
There are advantages to every diversion that happens. First, there is the cost. Not transporting and finding community based support is much less expensive than an emergency room visit. Secondly, and most importantly, having our clinician available results in better outcomes for patients. Our clinician is also skilled in deescalation, and connecting with people in crisis to come to a mutually agreeable plan forward. Each time this happens, it lessens the need for officers to become involved, or end up having to use some degree of force to compel the person for treatment.
Our clinical also works with Franklin Police Detectives' to follow up on drug overdose cases through the Norfolk County Outreach program. This program tracks individuals who have overdosed in Franklin, or another community, but live here. With the clinician and Detective, Franklin has been able to achieve over an 80% contact rate, the highest in the county, to offer these individuals treatment services.
The Jail Diversion Program is extensive, and one of the greatest programs we have added in recent years. It is also very notable that this program is free to the Town of Franklin, and the Town of Medway, who we share our clinician with. This is the result of a grant written by both agencies which is funded by the Department of Mental Health. A full report is available online on our Jail Diversion Page (https://www.franklinma.gov/police-department/pages/jail-diversion-program).
The Franklin Police take seriously the needs of our citizens. In addition to the JDP program we are also part of the IACP One Mind Campaign (https://www.theiacp.org/projects/one-mind-campaign). Participation in this program required the Franklin Police to train every officer in Mental Health First Aid (https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/training-courses/mental-health-first-aid/), and 20% of our officers in Crisis Intervention Training (https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Crisis-Intervention/Crisis-Intervention-Team-(CIT)-Programs). We have successfully completed this program.
|Franklin Police Statement in Response to President's Order on Police Reform|