Tuesday, November 28, 2023

New Windsor Police First in County to Join Program for Mental Health Calls

The New Windsor Police Department recently became the first and only police agency in Orange County to participate in New York’s Mobile Access Program (MAP) for use on mental health related calls.

Funded through the New York State Senate and in cooperation with the New York State Office of Mental Health, this program equips select New York police departments and local mental health clinicians with iPads to utilize Zoom type teleconference calls for mental healthcare purposes. The program provides another option for police officers when they require assistance in evaluating a situation when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis.

The New Windsor Police received three iPads which use a HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing software for mental health consultations. The primary goal of the MAP program is to increase police access to timely mental health consultations and evaluations which should result in less waiting for a mental health professional to respond to the scene, less transports by the police to the hospital and for better planning for follow-up care of the individual involved.

The New Windsor Police Department responded to 298 mental health crisis calls in 2021. Additionally, every sworn-member of the New Windsor Police Department has received special training in how to best manage a situation when an individual is in mental health crisis.

Shown in the photo are: Don Kamin, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Police; Mental Health & Community Collaboration Deb Salamone, the Project Coordinator for MAP; and New Windsor Police Sgt. Christopher Sylvester.

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