Shrewsbury Police to install electronic citation system and hire mental health clinician
By Laura Hayes, Senior community reporter
SHREWSBURY – The Shrewsbury Police Department will soon add a mental health clinician to accompany officers responding to mental health calls.
It was one of several additions described in an annual report by Chief Constable Kevin Anderson at a September 28 meeting at the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen.
Anderson discussed the agent training, campaigns and task forces the department has been involved in, as well as grants the department has applied for and the hiring process.
“What do you do in your spare time?” Joked Selectman Maurice DePalo after Anderson’s presentation. “[This is] great whatever you do. I think it’s great. I commend you for doing so.
Anderson discussed a number of grants the department has applied for that have been awarded. For example, the ministry is on the waiting list for a grant with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to install an automated motor vehicle citation and collision system.
Agents will be able to obtain a driver’s license through this system. This driver’s information will then be entered on a citation, which will be sent electronically.
“Save paper, save time, and save the administrative assistant time to enter reports and enter all that information,” Anderson said.
The 2022 budget includes funding for a mental health clinician. Anderson also said, however, that the department is in the process of seeking a grant to help foot the bill for this new hire, as well as a diversion program.
He said the grant would last for three years and pay both the clinician’s salary and overtime if he were to come outside of working hours.
The clinician would respond with the agents to mental health calls.
“We believe this position is essential in providing our officers and citizens with more resources during mental health emergencies than a trained mental health professional,” Anderson said.
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