LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new tool will assist the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in handling mental health calls Sheriff Michael Filicetti announced Thursday morning.
Through a partnership with Niagara County Mental Health and a grant received by the state’s mental health office, the sheriff’s office will equip deputies with iPads.
Officials say deputies will use the iPads to connect persons in crisis directly with mental health clinicians.
“We have a long-standing partnership with Niagara County Mental Health,” Filicetti said. “We are proud to be able to expand this partnership and ensure proper resources for people in crisis.”
Filicetti says this also allows law enforcement to connect conveniently with mental health professionals when the need arises.
“Just as in a medical emergency, when people are experiencing a mental health emergency, time is of the essence,” Niagara County Mental Health Director Laura Kelemen said. “We are grateful that this partnership facilitates quick access to a mental health clinician allowing for immediate linkage to care and better outcomes.”
The sheriff’s office also says these iPads will help make the connection to these resources quicker. Members of the office say there can be a delay in response times for critical personnel in a rural community.