Baltimore, Howard counties expand mental health services
Baltimore and Howard counties are proposing to expand their mental health services provided by police. Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced plans Friday to expand the county’s mobile crisis teams to round-the-clock availability. The teams, which are staffed by a police officer and mental health professional from the Affiliated Sante Group, currently operate only from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. Meanwhile, the Howard County Police Department announced it is expanding its mental health unit from two employees to four. Howard County’s mental health unit, which will now have three police officers and one mental health professional, provides tracking and follow-up support for subjects with mental health concerns who have been in contact with police. The unit is separate from the mobile crisis teams which respond to incidents as they happen. The two police officer positions for the mental health unit are being reorganized from vacant positions elsewhere in the department. There’s no additional cost, said Howard police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. In Baltimore County, Mohler’s proposal to expand crisis teams follows a key recommendation of an independent review of how police and first responders handle mental health calls earlier this year.