State Rep. Perry Warren and state Sen. Steve Santarsiero announced that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded grants to Bucks County and the Lower Makefield Township Police Department, totaling more than $300,000.
PCCD allocated funds to the following:
– $150,000: Bucks County Corrections Sharing Treatment and Recovery Together Program
– $150,000: Bucks County Co-Responder Expansion
– $36,000: Lower Makefield Township Police Department Training
Warren and Santarsiero, both D-Bucks, said the Bucks County START program will be developed using the awarded grant, creating a system of using cognitive behavioral treatment methods to supplement medication assisted treatments for inmates. The program aims to provide a therapeutic environment for treatment, as well as give training to staff and those participating in the program.
Bucks County’s Co-Responder program was awarded funds to add one co-responder position to provide a mental health and substance abuse disorder expert to be headquartered in a police department and respond to individuals experiencing a crisis.
“So many people entering the criminal justice system or coming into contact with law enforcement find themselves battling substance abuse or mental health crises,” said Warren. “These grants from PCCD allow for new programs to help break the cycle of addiction, bring mental health professionals into the picture to help those in need, and train our local police officers on how to best tackle these situations and the other challenges that come with their duties.”
“It’s critical that our police and the criminal justice system take into account the effects of substance abuse and mental health on the individuals they encounter,” said Santarsiero. “I applaud the county’s commitment to mental health and substance abuse programs and resources, as these programs will truly help those in crisis. Similarly, Lower Makefield Township and Police Chief Coluzzi are helping their officers better serve the community by diversifying their trainings and finding innovating ways to tackle challenging situations.”