Barling Police providing patrol units access to mental health professionals

River Valley News

Photo Courtesy: Barling Police Department Facebook Page

BARLING, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Barling Police Department is partnering with the non-profit organization Aspiring for Community Transformations (ACT) to provide officers with access to mental health professionals on call 24 hours a day.

The department will provide iPads to each Barling Police officer to keep in patrol units. According to a press release from Chief Darrell Spells, when an officer arrives on a scene with a mental health crisis, domestic violence, or substance abuse calls, officers can use the iPads to connect to a staff of mental health professionals via a video call.

According to a release from Chief Spells, the department has been training officers in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) in an effort to better address community mental health issues.

The mental health of our officers and the city of Barling has been a focus of mine since becoming Chief here. Barling Police Department will be one of the first departments in the state of Arkansas to utilize this program. We look forward to serving the community as well as our officers with the addition of this new program.

Chief Darrell Spells, Barling Police Department

Over half of Barling police officers have been trained in CIT, according to the release.

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