CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — In an ongoing effort to better police response to mental health cases, the State College Police Department and the Centre County Government will apply for up to $150,000 in Crisis Intervention & Pre-Trial Diversion Grant money through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The Borough of State College said the program will provide case management for individuals interacting with law enforcement regarding mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, and family management challenges.
“This is a bigger goal for the whole county,” said Hannah Babiss, a government management fellow for the Borough of State College. “This smaller, State College Police Department Social Work Program would significantly compliment the bigger picture goal of enhancing mental health services into police departments.”
Babiss said a major emphasis of the program is supporting underrepresented and historically oppressed community members with the goal of reducing the rate in which individuals enter or re-enter the justice system.
“In Centre County, State College is a small, but very densely packed area,” said Babiss. “We have a population of approximately 56,000 residents, so having extra resources, specifically in the State College Police Service Area would be really beneficial.”