By Danielle Chavira

MONTROSE, Colo. (CBS4) – A vehicle will help the Montrose Police Department respond accordingly to individuals needing mental health help. The vehicle will be used by a mental health clinician who responds to the calls with police officers.

The vehicle comes from a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs in which the city applied for in 2019. It cost $42,745 to purchase the vehicle, the city says.

(credit: Montrose)

The grant also allows the city to buy a radio for the clinician to keep in contact with police officers.

Mental health clinicians started assisting police in Montrose following a partnership with the Center for Mental Health in 2018. The latter agency pays for the clinician’s position.

The clinician will be able to stay at the scene to help the patient while other officers can respond to other calls for service. One officer will be present for safety precautions.

Part of the grant will go toward training and certifying five officers in peer support counseling. Those officers will help other employees at any time needed.

“Our officers see and experience things no one should see in a lifetime. Officers need access to trained law enforcement peer support specialists who understand the profession and can assist officers and their families when the job takes a toll on their mental health wellbeing,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said in a news release.

Danielle Chavira

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