Methuen Police and Front Line Services, which recently received a grant to establish a community response team and community support center, has been awarded another $400,000 to add a co-response clinician and create a Community Response Team.
Front Line CEO Matthew Page-Shelton and Police Chief Scott J. McNamara said the two-year, $400,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services helps decrease behavioral health calls managed by police alone, decrease unnecessary emergency room visits and criminal arrests and increase connections to outpatient supports, among other benefits.
“Methuen Police and Front Line Services understand the need to divert behavioral calls for service away from emergency rooms and criminal justice system by utilizing a clinically trained team that can meet the needs of the community,” said Page-Shelton.
McNamara added, “This grant is a big deal for us, as it will enable us to create a comprehensive Mental Health Division within the Methuen Police Department, and to add a master’s level trained clinician to work with those in our community who experience crises.”
The grant is in addition to a $550,000 Justice Mental Health Collaborative Partnership grant reported by WHAV last month.
The Community Support Center will provide Methuen Police a place where officers can refer individuals who are suffering from substance use or other behavioral health challenges for follow up care that includes post-crisis outreach, and supports that include peer support, benefits support, social determinants support and therapy. It is expected to be opened by October of 2024.