The city of Roseville will add a mental health worker to serve alongside its police force as part of a partnership with a nonprofit approved Monday to help address the growing need for crisis response services .
Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider explained the partnership with the mental health nonprofit People Incorporated before the council’s vote Monday night. The chief said there are gaps in what social service officers and workers can fill, especially with follow-ups after a behavioral health crisis.
“We find a lot of people in crisis and it becomes a revolving door where they stabilize, but when they don’t have that support afterward, they can go right back into crisis,” Scheider said before the council vote. “That’s what we’re trying to prevent, so it’s not just police response, but we can proactively get people out into the community.”
The agreement passed unanimously after City Council members Robin Schroeder and Julie Strahan also spoke in support of the plan.
“We’re so fortunate to have these tools to help us move toward a different way of responding to people and seeing what each individual needs,” Strahan said.
The agreement funds the full-time outreach worker, provided by People Incorporated, for a two-year pilot period, according to the council action request prepared by Scheider.
Half of the funding — $50,000 a year for two years — would come from People Incorporated, while Roseville police would seek to use American Rescue Plan funds for the remaining salary (not to exceed $50,000 a year).
The city is not required to fund the position again after two years, but will evaluate whether it’s worth continuing at the end, Mayor Dan Roe said.
Roseville, like many US cities, has experienced an increase in the need for mental health services over the past decade. Since 2020, the Roseville Police Department has seen a 50% increase in calls for mental health related issues, according to the request.
The city has also added other positions recently to help increase response during mental health crises.
In 2021, the council approved a three-year partnership with Ramsey County to add two county social workers to the police department, who provide “stabilization and follow-up support for people experiencing a mental health crisis,” according to the request.
Scheider explained to the council that county social workers focus on outreach work, coming out when someone has a crisis, while the new outreach worker will respond in the days or weeks after the crisis and connect them to further resources.
At the end of the pilot with People Incorporated and Ramsey County in 2025, the police department will assess the needs of the community going forward, the request states.
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