Community Connections, Spring 2002
Dutchess County CMHP Team is working to educate consumers regarding
the appropriate steps they might take when confronted by the police. Their
goal is to educate people on methods to use to avoid escalation of situations
that involve confrontation with police or corrections officers.
The ultimate purpose of this program is to help people access treatment,
rather than incarceration or in-jail disciplinary action.
The first step for the team was to get permission to meet with local police.
In February 2002, they successfully established monthly roundtable meetings
with consumers and police.
These meetings serve to open a dialogue that addresses the issue from
each side. They have also held groups exclusively for consumers, to better
understand their needs when dealing with law enforcement.
The Poughkeepsie Police Department has been extremely cooperative with
the team's efforts, and have developed a program to assist the team in
Individual team members are working to expand the program to lawyers and
mental health professionals.
Client feedback on this project has been very positive, and the team hopes
that their program will serve as a model statewide for a better understanding
between consumers and community police.
For more information on the Dutchess County CMHP Program, contact Melvin
Garrett at (845) 471-9329