Sara Dias chairs the Kenora Police Services Board, and she says a new initiative can help improve service for residents suffering from mental health, while also reducing costs.
"One of the key things, though, is how this will look in each area," she said.
A mobile crisis unit in Hamilton involves a police officer paired with a nurse, as they respond to mental health calls. At this month's meeting, board members heard how two officers can spend close to two and a half hours on a mental health call.
In the fall, the board members heard how the police detachment handled 48 such calls, with two officers per call. Dias said the mobile units could help improve service to residents with mental health issues, while also helping to reduce the budget by lowering hours for officers working in the detachment.
The estimated cost for 2018 is $5.7 million for the Kenora detachment, which handled 1,277 calls for service in November.
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