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Sheriff Clayton says millage renewal could help expand new mental health crisis response teams

WCSO vehicle
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department
/
washtenaw.org
WCSO vehicle

Washtenaw Sheriff Jerry Clayton says the expansion of the county’s co-response units will greatly benefit the community. A second unit began earlier this month.

The program began as a pilot in Ypsilanti Township in 2022. When a community crisis call appears to involve a behavioral health aspect, the co-response team can be dispatched. The teams include a mental health professional and a deputy. They arrive at a location in the same car and assess the situation.

The teams have countywide jurisdiction.

Sheriff Clayton says having them arrive together can save valuable time.

“Very rarely do we get calls that are strictly risk or strictly need. It’s very often a mix of those two things. The other thing that’s important is because we may get a call that may articulate one of those two. When the responder gets there, it might be a combination of those two.”

Part of the funding for the program is coming from the Mental Health and Public Safety Millage. Clayton says it’s a prime example of what the millage is paying for.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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