Portland Police Department Receives Funding to Improve Mental Health Challenges


A View From Peaks Island to Portland

By Carol McCracken (Post # 580)

The Portland Police Department has been notified that it will be the recipient of $184,900 to be used for an innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness. This two-year grant will allow the department’s effort to improve the resonse to community members suffering from mental illness. The award is from the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.

“The grant will help the department expand its mental health response capability by creating a full-time Mental Health Coordinator, who will oversee the entire program; implement the Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licenses Clinical Professional Counselor Internship program; and develop a centralized, accurate, timely system of tracking and monitoring mental health calls for service in order to improve response and ultimately decrease the number of repeat calls with appropriate services,” said a press release from Nicole Clegg, director of communications for the city of Portland.

“This funding is critical as it allows the department to expand existing programs to better meet the challenges our community faces when someone grappling with mental illness is in distress,” stated Portland Police Chief James Craig. “The city’s department has done some remarkable work on this issue. Our officers are trained to treat people humanely, keep them safe and with our mental health liaison, help them access the services and treatment they need. These additional funds will allow us to build on these foundations and better serve the city.”