Connecticut police department starts its own behavioral health network

The police department of Fairfield, Conn., created a behavioral health network that officials say will make it easier for people to access services, CTInsider reported April 19.

The Fairfield Police Behavioral Health Network is a collaboration with local mental health agencies, the police department and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the report said. It held its first meeting in March.

Edward Weihe, police captain in the department, told CTInsider that the network helps to uncover the reasons behind repeated police responses for a specific person and limit future occurrences.

One benefit from the program is a shift in focus from the punitive to the proactive for mental health-related calls for service, the report said. 

Comprehensive approaches to behavioral health, like that of the new network, have been much more effective than the old police models of "respond, resolve, move on to the next call," Mr. Weihe told CTInsider.

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