Roselle police receive $100K grant for mental health services

 
 
Posted1/14/2021 5:30 AM

The Roselle Police Department has received a $100,000 grant to provide mental health services for crime victims and department employees.

The grant from the Bloomingdale Township Mental Health Board is the third of its kind since 2019 and will help expand services to ensure a counselor is on duty seven days a week. It also allows officials to increase counselor availability from 40 hours per week to 60.

 

"I always thought that mental health services should be part of the department," Police Chief Steve Herron said. "I'm happy to be the catalyst for that and I think this is a step in the right direction."

Counselor Colleen Martinez was brought in part time to assist the department in 2019 as a result of the first grant. She offers counseling and follow-up calls for victims of domestic violence, mental illness, child/elder abuse, crisis intervention, sexual abuse, substance abuse and youth and family issues in the village.

Through the grant, Martinez has been able to work full time with the department since January 2020.

Martinez said she is in the field with an officer responding to a call at least two to three times per workweek.

According to a 2018 study by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, up to 10% of police-civilian interactions involve a civilian with a mental health disorder.

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An officer is 4.5 times more likely to use force during these interactions, increasing the risk of harm for the officer and the individual in crisis.

"Being able to serve the community is the best thing and it gets care to those that need it most," Martinez said.

The latest grant also provides funding for an additional part-time counselor for 24 work hours per week and a clinical psychiatrist who will provide service for all department employees.

"Our first responders are subjected to tragic crime scenes and situations on an unfortunate and frequent basis," Herron said in a statement to the Bloomingdale Township Mental Health Board.

"We feel this will provide optimum support for the residents of Roselle and the Roselle Police Department."

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