New behavioral health unit for Chatham County Police presents at commission meeting

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Chatham County Police Department has a new unit specializing in helping people through a mental health crisis.

The head of the new Behavioral Health Unit gave a presentation to the Chatham County Commission on Friday. He says their goal is to get people experiencing behavioral health disorders the help they need.

They hope this will send less people to jail, who are really just in need of mental health support.

Four officers are a part of the unit and several officers in the department have done a crisis intervention training.

“Breaking the stigma and teaching officers that mental health is not a crime. It is something that people need to be treated for and we try to work on making sure that those individuals have the care that they need,” Chatham County Police Cpl. Hiram Rivera said.

Commissioners say they are happy to hear about the start of this new unit and are working on ways to spread the word.