DOJ subsidizes crisis intervention, body cameras – Tallahassee Reports
The City Commission has approved the process for applying, accepting, and spending the proceeds of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) grant. Community Policing Development Grants total $ 450,000 and will be used to fund the expansion of the city’s Crisis Response Team and additional de-escalation training.
In addition, the city will apply for a Body-Worn Camera and Policy Implementation Program assistance grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice (BJA) of $ 860,000. The money will expand TPD’s current body camera program. The grant requires the city to double the funds, creating a tax impact of $ 860,000.
In September 2020, the city launched a pilot crisis intervention team that responds to non-violent mental health situations. The team consists of a mental health clinician, a police officer trained in emergency response, and a paramedic / paramedic. Since launching in March 2021, the team has seen a demand for services and the need for rapid expansion.
The expansion of the crisis response team will allow the unit to respond on-site to crises and redirect more emergency mental health calls away from traditional law enforcement, thus freeing the emergency response units of the police and firefighters.
The expansion will be financed by the Community Policing Development (DPC) funds. The grant provides “up to $ 250,000 for overtime, contractual services and training over a two-year period.”
In addition, the city will apply for an additional grant of $ 200,000 that will support de-escalation training among staff at the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD). It will support DPT participation in nationally certified de-escalation programs and ensure internal development, implementation and training of DPT staff and agents. There is no matching funds required for the use of CPD grants.
Finally, TPD is seeking a BJA Body Camera Policy and Implementation Program Grant of $ 860,000. The grant will help expand its current program by purchasing 20 additional body cameras for department staff. In addition, 200 additional on-board camera systems will be installed and integrated with existing body cameras, along with the purchase of the required software and licenses.
At a minimum, the City must match the BJA grant funds, but the cost of the previously mentioned equipment and software is $ 2,751,780. As a result, the city is forced to spend the remaining $ 1,891,780, which was accounted for in the fiscal year 2022 budget.