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The U.S. Department of Justice recently granted $75,000 to Mason City police in order develop a plan to deal with co-existing substance abuse and mental health disorders.
The money will go toward hiring a liaison that will work with officers and mental health providers, helping to promote effective interactions between police and those in the community who need real help.
“I think it has the potential to be really big. I think as we see the money for mental health dry up and the number of beds for mental health dry up we have to do something as a community to manage that otherwise everything will be crisis,” Chief Jeff Brinkley with Mason City police said.
The liaison will start out working twenty hours each week. Chief Brinkley explains by developing a plan for the community, he hopes to reduce the need for force when dealing with someone suffering through a mental health crisis.
It could also reduce the number of times police respond to mental health calls - and save taxpayer dollars.