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Asbury Park Police Department Takes Steps to Increase Police Community Services with Crisis Intervention Training, Behavioral Health Partnership and Social Worker Hire
10/22/21, Asbury Park, NJ – City Council is pleased to announce Asbury Park Police Department (APPD) has been taking steps to increase community service resources. Programs include staff participation in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), a new partnership with Preferred Behavioral Health Group’s Support Team for Addiction Recovery (STAR), and the upcoming hire of a social worker to improve case management and response to those in the community who find themselves in crisis situations.
Through the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO), members of Asbury Park Police Department attended the first-ever Crisis Intervention Team Training session to be held in Monmouth County earlier this year. The intensive, five-day interactive course provided an in-depth look at issues concerning mental illness, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, and their implications for law-enforcement response during a crisis. With the success of the program, MCPO will be offering additional CIT training sessions later this year. To support clients in need of help for opioid and other substance abuse, Asbury Park Police Department has entered into a partnership with Preferred Behavioral Health Group’s Support Team for Addiction Recovery. Specialists from STAR will be contacted by APPD when they respond to calls and find clients in need of case management, education, support and encouragement to enter drug treatment. The City of Asbury Park Social Services Department is in the process of hiring a Social Worker dedicated to interfacing between emergency services personnel, such as APPD, and Social Services with the goal of enhancing the quality of assistance offered to residents and other individuals who are challenged and found in need of assistance from emergency services. The new position will serve as a resource to APPD, and other emergency services personnel, in their response to crisis and behavioral health calls for service.
"Earlier this year the Asbury Park Equity Committee helped identify the best policing practices to increase trust between the APPD and our community,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, “We are pleased to see our Police Department taking the necessary steps to focus on mental and behavioral health. These new services provide APPD with invaluable tools for managing the well-being of our community."
"Our hope is to strengthen the relationship between APPD and our community," said Councilperson Yvonne Clayton, "The effort APPD has made to invest in their officers by giving them invaluable training in behavioral health, mental illness issues and other disabilities will hopefully help grow the open and honest dialogue City Council strives for. And the addition of a new social worker focused specifically on APPD clients will be incredibly beneficial."
"Asbury Park Police Department is committed to providing our officers with the training and resources needed to yield positive results in crisis situations,” said Asbury Park Police Chief David Kelso, “Recently APPD’s Sgt Joseph Spallina, one of the first officers from across the county to participate in Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Crisis Intervention Training, was able to use what he learned from CIT to bring a potentially dangerous situation to a peaceful conclusion. These are the kinds of results we are looking and why educating our officers is so important.”
For more information on Asbury Park Police Department, visit www.cityofasburypark.com/appd. For more information on the City of Asbury Park, visit www.cityofasburypark.com