(Watertown) The Watertown Police Department recently welcomed an emergency mental health intake worker to their team.
Agency officials say Kelly Lueck comes to them as part of a unique collaboration between Jefferson County Human Services and the police department to assist people who may be experiencing a mental health crises. The position was also made possible by a donation from the Greater Watertown Health Foundation.
In the past, police calls involving mental health would require an officer to respond. They would make an assessment and then contact Human Services to arrange either an immediate response or to set up a plan for services. Officials say Lueck’s role now bypasses this process.
They say she can respond immediately to calls if needed and can also direct individuals needing assistance to the proper services which benefits both the officers and the citizens. The Watertown Police Department note that every sworn officer is certified in Crises Intervention Training which is a 40-hour program for law enforcement on how to better respond to people experiencing a mental health crises.
Lueck has a background in nursing where she spent 10 years working at the former Bethesda Lutheran Homes and five years in corrections.
–Photo courtesy of the Watertown Police Department Facebook page