Boerne Police Department hires first mental health officer – KSAT San Antonio

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The latest local, regional and national news events of the morning are presented by the KSAT 12 News Team
The San Antonio Police Department is “sparing no assets or resources” in trying to find a 3-year-old girl who disappeared at a Northwest Side apartment complex Monday evening, Chief William McManus said.
Patty Santos, Reporter
Gavin Nesbitt, Photojournalist
Adam Barraza, Photojournalist
Patty Santos, Reporter
Gavin Nesbitt, Photojournalist
Adam Barraza, Photojournalist
Boerne – The City of Boerne is taking a proactive approach to address a trend they have been tracking regarding mental health calls Boerne police have been experiencing.
Rebecca Foley, the former community outreach intervention program officer, is now taking on a new role as a mental health officer starting in January.
Foley’s job will be to connect people facing a mental health crisis with resources.
“Crisis calls, they’re really intense at the moment. We usually send two officers to calls like that,” she said.
Police can place those facing a crisis in emergency detention to get them help. Foley will then follow up with those individuals after they are released to see what additional services they might need.
Foley, a former firefighter and paramedic, has a master’s in criminal justice. She says that experience has helped her to prepare for this job. But she wants to take it to the next level and is currently working on a master’s in mental health counseling at Texas A&M.
Foley says talking about mental wellbeing is important to ensure that officers and the community are healthy.
“I’m dedicated to their mental health and to their wellness. If [officers] are not good, we’re not going to be good for the people in our community,” Foley said.
Boerne Police Department has about 43 officers on staff. Foley’s position is a pilot program. The department will assess how the program does and what else is needed to help the community.
Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.
Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.
Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.
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