Dearborn police say recently hired clinical social worker improved mental crisis call response

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Before clinical social worker Stacy Wetters came along, Dearborn police…

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Before clinical social worker Stacy Wetters came along, Dearborn police officers like Cpl. Bill Ahnut and ACCESS liaison officer Landon Iavasile say responding to mental health crisis calls has always been a part of their job.

“Our strategy in the past has been to continue to deal with them over and over again in the same way,” Anhut says.

But since Wetters arrived, thanks to a local partnership with the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), it still is the biggest difference for them this year is they now can do it confidently.

“Having that grey area where they are having a mental issue but it’s not so much a crisis. So we don’t know is there somewhere we can take them? What can we do for them? And that is where Stacy comes in and helps us,” Iavasile says.

On average, Wetters says she receives about two live calls per day, while following up with about two to four previous callers per day.

And while responding to mental health crisis calls is her area of expertise, her experience has allowed for more training of other officers on how to better respond to those who are seeking help.

“It’s been great. It’s been great. All the officers have been really, really great. If they need our assistance and in transporting somebody to get the treatment. Or if the person needs resources, a lot of times they will call us and ask for input as to what do we think a person may need in a certain situation,” Wetter says.

And while each call is handled depending on the status of each caller, Wetters says the goal is to keep callers out of handcuffs, and as Iavasile explains, get them the help and resources they need.

“When they are having someone who is having a mental health crisis, they have already ask for the officer that arrives with the social worker. People are getting aware of it,” Iavasile says.

If you or a loved one is going through a mental health crisis, you are encouraged to contact the Dearborn Police Department by calling 313-943-2241.