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Police Officers Pair With Mental Health Clinicians In Franklin To Prevent Tragedy

Louisa Moller
WBZ | CBS Boston News
September 10, 2020

FRANKLIN (CBS) – As outrage over police use of force continues around the country, Franklin police are using a program aimed at deescalating calls involving individuals with mental health conditions.

Called the Jail Diversion Program, run by Advocates, it pairs police officers with mental health clinicians. It is currently underway in 15 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

“There are statistics which most practitioners believe are underwhelming that seven to 10 percent of police encounters involve someone with a mental health condition. My experience is that it’s closer to 50, 60 percent,” said program director Sarah Abbott.

Franklin police officer Tyler Peabody and clinician Kallie Montagano have been partnered together as part of the program for nearly two years.

When a call comes in, Officer Peabody secures the scene. Then, Montagano joins him as, together, they work to slow the situation down.