Senator Pam Helming announced that the Sheriff’s Offices in Ontario, Seneca, and Wayne Counties have received funding for Crisis Intervention Team training.
This important funding covers mental health training, materials, and overtime for police officers. this funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health allows police officers to learn how to identify mental health situations so that officers can respond appropriately and keep our communities safe.
“It is important that we highlight the positive relationships that police officers form on a daily basis and provide them with the tools and resources they need to help mentally ill people. This critical funding will allow that very thing to happen by giving our Sheriff’s Offices in three counties the training and skills they need to appropriately interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis,” Helming explained.
“This Crisis Intervention Team training will give our Sheriff’s Offices the resources they need to better protect our communities. I commend Sheriff Povero, Sheriff Luce, and Sheriff Virts for taking advantage of this opportunity. As State Senator, I will continue to work with our local law enforcement agencies to support our police officers and ensure they have the training and equipment they need,” Senator Helming added.
Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero echoed the sentiments of other law enforcement officials following the funding. “Unfortunately, our police officers find themselves in increasing situations where they encounter individuals with mental health issues. This training should allow law enforcement to develop greater understanding when responding to calls for service involving people who have mental health issues. Enhancing public safety is an ultimate goal of this training,” Povero said.
Seneca County Sheriff W. Timothy Luce called it a great collaboration between multiple agencies. “This is a great collaboration between mental health and law enforcement to serve the people in the community with mental health issues,” the Sheriff added in a statement.
Wayne County Sheriff Barry C. Virts said, “Wayne County law enforcement officers answer on average 30 psychiatric calls a week and encounter several other individuals with mental illness on a regular basis while performing their duties.” He added that it would help local law enforcement better serve the community.