New unit trained to assist Savannah Police with behavioral health calls

ByWTOC Staff|September 29, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT - Updated September 29 at 6:32 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department announced a new unit trained to assist with behavioral health calls.

The unit consists of two non-uniformed Savannah Police officers and a licensed clinician, who will ride with the officers two days a week. They’ll respond to calls about substance abuse, suicide, and mental health disorders.

Savannah Police say the goal is to reduce the number of repeated incidents of people with substance abuse or mental health issues and connect them to community resources.

“You’re talking about dealing with mental illness throughout town. This will give us the ability to start addressing those issues in a real way. Keeping people out of jail because jail isn’t the place for a lot people with the issues they’re facing,” Maj. Robert Gavin.

Maj. Gavin says even when the call is over the unit will continue to work with the person and connect them with resources to help address the issue.

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Photo: WTOC

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