The Franklin Police Department is already actively engaged in this process on many levels. For mental health calls for service and follow up we already have in place our Jail Diversion Program. Our clinician responds with officers to calls where citizens may be involved in a mental health crisis. The work done there helps determine if the person in crisis is best served by remaining in the community, or needs immediate treatment and transport to the hospital. There are advantages to every diversion that happens. First, there is the cost. Not transporting and finding community based support is much less expensive than an emergency room visit. Secondly, and most importantly, having our clinician available results in better outcomes for patients. Our clinician is also skilled in deescalation, and connecting with people in crisis to come to a mutually agreeable plan forward. Each time this happens, it lessens the need for officers to become involved, or end up having to use some degree of force to compel the person for treatment.
Our clinician also works with Franklin Police Detectives' to follow up on drug overdose cases through the Norfolk County Outreach program. This program tracks individuals who have overdosed in Franklin, or another community, but live here. With the clinician and Detective, Franklin has been able to achieve over an 80% contact rate, the highest in the county, to offer these individuals treatment services.
The Jail Diversion Program is extensive, and one of the greatest programs we have added in recent years. It is also very notable that this program is free to the Town of Franklin, and the Town of Medway, who we share our clinician with. This is the result of a grant written by both agencies which is funded by the Department of Mental Health. A full report is available online on our Jail Diversion Page.
The Franklin Police take seriously the needs of our citizens. In addition to the JDP program we are also part of the IACP One Mind Campaign. Participation in this program required the Franklin Police to train every officer in Mental Health First Aid, and 20% of our officers in Crisis Intervention Training. We have successfully completed this program.
We constantly look to improve services, and help those in need. We feel confident that we are making a difference, and improving the quality of life in our community. The job is not over, and we are open to new ideas and programs that will better serve our community.