Police + Mental Health Coordinator

Meridian, Idaho

Three months ago the Boise Police Department created a new position: Mental Health Coordinator.

When officers respond to welfare checks resulting in a need for services, they can reach out directly to Penelope Hansen, the coordinator, knowing that she will help get people the treatment they need.

She is also training the officers so that they are better able to recognize the signs of mental illness. Officers respond to an average of 13 welfare checks per day, and many of those involve people suffering from mental illness.

BPD Chief Bones said, “I don’t know what lives this position will save, but I can guarantee that it is going to save lives.”

What a wonderful addition to the police department!

And what a wonderful resource for the community!

Hopefully this is a part of a growing trend…

4 thoughts on “Police + Mental Health Coordinator”

  1. It would be interesting to hear from the police department personnel after the position is in place for a year…

  2. Kudos to Boise! There are other big communities that I have heard have done this with great success. And law enforcement that were involved were thrilled and also honestly relieved to have new knowledge and someone who could guide them along the way…..
    Thanks for sharing Kathy!

    1. It’s surprising to think of the ripple effect of that one position on the whole community…

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