The sheriff wants to add mental health workers to the workforce

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Sheriff Kirk Imperati addressed the county legislature’s Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee Wednesday night to answer questions about his $60 million share of the proposed 2023 budget. The budget for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is 11 percent of the total provincial budget.

Imperati has sought to partner with Mental Health America Dutchess County (MHA Dutchess) to create the Enhancing Community Health through Outreach (ECHO) program. The plan, included in the proposed budget approved Wednesday evening, will embed mental health workers in the DCSO as part of an “Interdisciplinary Mobile Response Team.”

“This program will employ a few mental health workers to respond to calls for service and work for the inmates within our facility,” Imperati said. “More importantly, they will work with our staff because they (deputies and corrections officers) are dealing with a number of issues in their own personal lives.”

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