Today’s law enforcement officers provide citizens with services that go well beyond enforcing laws and maintaining public safety. Law enforcement officers are front-line, emergency responders, mediators, referral agents, counselors, youth mentors and much more. Among their growing list of responsibilities is the need to respond to people with mental illnesses.
In response to the increasing need to assist individuals with mental illnesses, the Parker Police Department has added the services of Licensed Clinical Social Worker Jenn Fierberg L.C.S.W. While Jennifer is an employee of the AllHealth Network, she will work out of the Victim Services office to assist police officers on these cases.
When a Crisis Intervention Team call is received, Jennifer will respond to the location with the officer. The officer will clear the scene and make sure it is safe for all parties on site. Department Clinician Fierberg will then respond to the mental health situation by either conducting a suicide assessment, assessing for homicidal ideations or assess for grave disability. If needed, the officer will transport the individual to an available hospital after they have been placed on a Mental Health Hold. If they do not require a Mental Health Hold but do want mental health services, a time is set up to conduct an intake session at the Parker office or in their home if needed. From the intake, the individual is referred to a treatment team and an appointment is set up for the consumer. There will also be follow up afterward to be sure services are in place and no other needs are identified.
The introduction of the Licensed Clinical Social Worker program will enhance the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training that all Parker Police Officers receive. The CIT program brings together law enforcement agencies with mental health experts and community groups to train police responders to use crisis de-escalation strategies and to prioritize treatment over incarceration when appropriate. The addition of a Licensed Clinician Social Worker housed at the police department, will assist in our ability to help people in their time of crisis as well as their follow-up care.
Utilizing a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will contribute to greater safety for all involved and provide better long term results for those with mental illnesses. Offering these services at the time when a call is received will improve our ability to get important services to those in need. We are pleased to bring these new services to Parker residents and continue to improve on the great service our officers and department provides.