The Vancouver Police Department announced Friday that it is partnering with a community-based organization to start a pilot program aimed at improving access to mental health services and treatments.
The city will share grant funding with Sea Mar, a federally qualified health center, to add three full-time mental health responder positions to assist Vancouver police officers in the field “in an on-call capacity during peak (police response) hours,” the police department announced in a news release.
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs awarded nearly $315,000 to Vancouver to establish the pilot program. The money is part of $2 million set aside by the Washington Legislature. Nine grants were awarded statewide.
Funds were originally received in September 2019 to share with Clark County and Sea Mar. The Vancouver City and Clark County councils and the health center approved agreements for the use of the money in the following months.