Springfield Police Bring Experts On Mental Health Related Calls

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — At a Public Safety Committee meeting Monday night, Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said that some calls, such as mental health and drug related inquiries, are being brought into the focus of specialists.

Clapprood said that police officers initially did not want to bring their mental health experts out on calls, but nowadays officials are finding it more acceptable to bring any of their six trained professionals.

"When it first started, they were skeptical of having Behavioral Health Network civilians on their calls with them, now they don't want to go on a call without a BHN worker with them," Clapprood said.

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Officials said that two surrounding communities, North Hampton and Amherst, send a specialized team of mental health experts instead of police, mainly for drug and health crisis calls.

WBZ's John Baiback reports.

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