For Immediate Release: Feb. 3, 2023
Millcreek Police Receive Grant for Mental Health Resource Officer
MILLCREEK, P.A –Millcreek Township Police received grant funding for a crisis outreach and support officer to specialize in mental health crisis response. The funding for the hire was provided by the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) grant of over $200,000.
The crisis outreach officer will co-assist MPD officers on calls for service of individuals in emotional crisis. The crisis outreach officer, overseen by Safe Harbor Behavioral Health, will also follow up with residents and visitors who had contact with MPD and have identified mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
“The addition of a crisis outreach and support officer will aid the MPD in emotional crisis calls and keep both residents and their loved ones safe,” said Millcreek Supervisor Kim Clear. “The Millcreek Police Department is proud to be the first department in the area to have someone on staff to assist in these mental health crisis calls.”
In addition, the MPD recognized the need for an Officer Wellness Program, and having such a program is one of the major pillars of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. MPD applied for a COAST Grant, which was granted in 2022, in order to help initiate this program.
The COAST Grant supports the training of existing officers in an Officer Peer Support Program. There is now an added specialty on helping those that have served deal with unique mental health issues. However, this does not detract from helping all residents that are dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues.
The announcement fits Millcreek Township Police’s commitment to responsible policing and leadership in the community.
Currently, the new mental health officer is in training and Millcreek Township Police plan to provide more information when the program is solidified within the MPD and the officer finishes training.
The grant is in partnership with UPMC Safe Harbor Behavioral Health.
Cpl. Graeme Perkins was instrumental in writing the COAST grant, a difficult and lengthy process. For his efforts he has received employee of the month for January 2023 in the MPD. Cpl. Perkins is pictured below on the right accepting the award with Deputy Chief Mook presenting on the left.
Dep. Chief Mook (left) presenting employee of the month to Cpl. Perkins (right) for his grant writing efforts