(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Thanks to new funding, Millcreek will now have a resource officer on duty for mental health crises.

Millcreek Township Police received grant funding for a crisis outreach and support officer to specialize in mental health crisis response, which was provided by the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) grant of over $200,000.

“The addition of a crisis outreach and support officer will aid the Millcreek Police Department (MPD) in emotional crisis calls and keep both residents and their loved ones safe,” said Kim Clear, Millcreek supervisor. “MPD is proud to be the first department in the area to have someone on staff to assist in these mental health crisis calls.”

The crisis outreach officer will co-assist MPD officers on calls for service of individuals in
emotional crisis and follow up with residents and visitors who had contact with MPD and have identified mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

In addition, the MPD recognized the need for an Officer Wellness Program, and having such a
program is one of the major pillars of the President’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing. MPD
applied for a COAST Grant, which was granted in 2022, in order to help initiate this program.
The COAST Grant supports the training of existing officers in an Officer Peer Support Program.

Currently, the new mental health officer is in training and Millcreek Township Police say they plan to provide more information when the program is solidified within the MPD and the officer
finishes training.

The grant is in partnership with UPMC Safe Harbor Behavioral Health.