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Cookeville Could Extend UCHRA-Police Department Program

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Could Extend UCHRA-Police Department Program

A pilot program between Cookeville and UCHRA’s Substance Abuse Solutions test program will expire in January.

City Manager James Mills said an extension is worth considering. Mills said the city is satisfied with the program allowing Cookeville police to do more policing, and less social work.

“Yeah, I definitely think it’s something we’ll consider if UCHRA-SAS is agreeable to it,” Mills said. “Potentially, extending the agreement for an additional six months or so.”

Mills said according to reports 111 people have been assisted by this program, including 12 families.

Mills said the city could even consider hiring people within the police department to respond to these calls. Where people are suffering from mental health, homelessness and substance issues. Mills said the program is helping the city decide the best way to use resources to help citizens.

“We’re also using it, trying to help us decide long-term, what do we need to do in the police department to see what’s most beneficial to our citizens,” Mills said. “How best to allocate our resources, this has opened our eyes quite a bit on different services that are available. I think it was one of the issues before, we’ve got a lot of great programs in Cookeville-Putnam County but there didn’t appear to be one group or person that we coordinate with on all these.”

Mills said the earliest the city would look at extending this program would be during Cookeville City Council’s second meeting in January.

“We’re always looking out for different avenues of being able to assist our citizens,” Mills said. “We support public, private cooperation as best we can, to try to best provide the services that need to be provided.”

This 5-month pilot program started in September.

It provides 24/7 assistance to Cookeville police in the areas of mental health, homelessness and substance abuse. SAS connects people in need with services for housing, transportation, drug and alcohol treatment and more.


The post Cookeville Could Extend UCHRA-Police Department Program appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.