ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Police from around Monroe County gathered at the county’s Public Safety Training Building to provide an update on a new mental health initiative used by law enforcement.
It’s called the Monroe County Forensic Intervention Team, or “FIT” for short. The team can join police officers to provide mental health care in the field.
“Not only are we enhancing public safety,” said Cheryl Dinolfo, the Monroe County Executive, “but we’re also enhancing public health as well, and making sure folks have the services they need.”
“It’s been infectious in a good way,” said Kim Butler, the county’s Chief of Clinical and Forensic Services, as well as the program’s architect. “Infectious with knowledge, and sharing that with the other officers.”
Butler says the FIT team has had thousands of contacts in the county.
Local police departments have used the service in the past few years, including in Rochester, Greece and Gates.
“It’s such a leap forward,” said Monroe County Undersheriff Korey Brown.
“FIT” is funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health. According to one official, the total cost to the taxpayer is $567,679.