Amherstburg Hiring Full Time Mental Health Officer

The Town of Amherstburg will soon deploy its first police officer specializing in mental health. 

The officer will be shared with the Town of LaSalle and will respond to mental health related calls between both communities.

Amherstburg Police Chief Tim Berthiaume says the number of mental health calls the service receives is on the rise. He says Amherstburg police received 67 mental health related calls in 2016.

"We have only been tracking them for about three years and we have noticed a steady incline in our calls for service when it comes to people who are having mental issues," says Berthiaume.

He says the officer will help alleviate the need for resources the service would normally deploy to mental health related calls. 

"We are hoping it will be proactive and this person can work with people in our community to prevent these people from calling the police and other resources," says Berthiaume.

Part the aim of the new position is to create relationships with those in need.

"So the person will actually meet with people in the community so that when they do go into crises those people will know what resources are available to them and they can maintain a relationship with the person," says Berthiaume.

The new hire is expected to start on April 1st.