Dauphin Co. officials give progress report on law enforcement mental health program

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Police in Dauphin County are making fewer arrests and helping more people find mental health services.

On Wednesday, County Commissioners received a progress report on the Stepping Up program, which launched two years ago.

It requires police departments to have trained co-responders who go with officers to calls to determine whether a person needs special help.

Officers also undergo crisis intervention training to get people help when they need it, rather than just sending them to jail.

“Many of them don’t belong in the criminal justice system, and we can divert them early on, and we have the tools with our co-responders and with the CIT training, to make those assessments and make them very early on,” Dauphin Co. DA Fran Chardo said.

Police departments in Harrisburg, Lower Paxton, Swatara and Susquehanna Townships are part of the Stepping Up program.

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