Tri-Town Behavioral Health Liaison Program

cpd tri town
The Police Departments of Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth are pleased to announce that the towns have entered into a partnership with Cumberland County for Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) as part of The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. The funds will be used to hire and employ a Behavioral Health Liaison who will serve all three communities.
The process began in November of 2021, however, our three towns have been collaborating with Cumberland County administration including County Manager Jim Gailey for over a year. This collaboration has resulted in the framework of a plan to help deliver mental health and substance use support, where and when people need it most. “The opportunity to embed a trained liaison with our departments, to meet people in the community to gauge their needs and connect them to services is very exciting to us,” said Chief Gallant.

Chief Kilbride stated that, “We are capitalizing on the strong working relationship between our three police departments and Cumberland County to implement this program seamlessly.” COVID and societal pressures have exacerbated behavioral health issues, and having a liaison to supplement the excellent work done in the field by our officers will help provide crisis intervention, follow-up and referrals for residents and visitors to our towns. We anticipate that the program will result in lower rates of forced hospitalization, lower rates of repeat calls to homes for mental health issues, and that we will provide education to department members and the community on topics like suicide prevention. 

The Tri-Towns respond to a combined approximately 275 calls per year for mental health crisis, with numbers that are much higher when combined with calls involving substance use and calls where mental health and substance use issues are underlying causes for other problems. “The Tri-Town Behavioral Health Liaison Program will be one of the most significant enhancements to our community service during my 6-year tenure as Chief,” said Chief Rumsey. “We firmly believe this will make our communities safer, will make our officers even better, and will build bridges between the law enforcement and social work professions.”

Cumberland County will fund one liaison position, covering 100% of the program cost for the first year with ARPA funds. Successive years will be funded with an increasing share by the towns so that after 4 years, the towns will cover the entire expense of the program. For the length of the program, Cumberland County will hold the contract for the provision of the Liaison’s services. The County Commissioners believe that managing the program centrally creates an opportunity to expand it into other communities in future years. The County Commissioners, Falmouth Town Council and Cumberland Town Council have all voted in support of the program. The Yarmouth Town Council is scheduled to vote on the matter at their regularly scheduled meeting on April 28th at 7PM.

View the recent Forecaster article on this program.