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Mo. sheriff’s office creates team of veteran volunteers to respond to veterans in crisis alongside LEOs

In addition to co-response, the program will also offer peer support for incarcerated veterans and “after-care” for those who have suffered a mental health crisis

Mo. sheriff’s office creates team of veteran volunteers to respond to veterans in crisis alongside LEOs

“That type of community engagement and community policing is indispensable and invaluable,” said Michael Lewis, a crisis intervention program specialist and co-creator of the program. “That’s why we decided to roll [this program] out.”

Howell County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook

By Joanna Putman
Police1

WEST PLAINS, Mo. — The Howell County Sheriff’s Office announced it is creating a crisis intervention team specifically to help veterans, Ozark Radio News reported.

The Veteran Intervention Team will assist veterans suffering from a mental health crisis by sending volunteer veterans along with responding officers, according to the report. According to an informational video released by the sheriff’s office, the volunteer veteran responders will be assigned according to the conflict in which they served, meaning that the veteran in crisis will be able to speak with a peer who shares a similar experience.

“That type of community engagement and community policing is indispensable and invaluable,” said Michael Lewis, a crisis intervention program specialist and co-creator of the program. “That’s why we decided to roll [this program] out.”

In addition to co-response, the Veteran Intervention Team will provide peer support to incarcerated veterans and “after-care” for those who have suffered a mental health crisis that required law enforcement intervention, according to the video.

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