GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Green Bay, Brown County budget plans invest in behavioral health initiatives

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Both the City of Green Bay and Brown County have released their 2021 budget proposals.

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach’s 2021 budget proposal includes setting aside money to add a second clinical social worker position to team with a Green Bay Police officer to diffuse mental health crisis events, a pilot program that began last year.

“Brown County continues to deal with numerous mental health crisis events that require a quick yet measured response,” says Streckenbach. “After seeing the positive results from the initial program, adding a second clinician will further assist responders, as well as the individual, in order to create better outcomes.”

According to a release, initial projections show this would also save Brown County taxpayers about $33,000 annually.

“Meeting the needs of mental health in our communities takes more than one agency,” says HHS Executive Director Erik Pritzl. “Health & Human Services has been able to work in partnership with the Green Bay Police Department to provide community-based services and connect people to services as a team. Through this collaboration, we have been able to use less restrictive and costly options to meet the needs of people.”

Meanwhile, Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich’s proposed 2021 City budget includes funding for two additional police officers to be deployed as a behavioral health team to work with a County clinical social worker, expanding upon the existing City-County partnership.

“Public safety is the City’s highest priority and it is my first obligation to Green Bay residents,” said Genrich. “This budget allows for the creation of another Community Crisis Intervention Team, whose work has proved invaluable in responding to and defusing crisis situations and reducing violence in our community.”

“I am so proud of the work being done by our officer-clinician team,” says Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith. “These specially-trained police officers along with their clinician partners are committed to helping our community members struggling with mental health issues. Doubling the number of officer-clinician teams will allow us to help more people, prevent more mental health crises’, and help keep some of the most vulnerable members of our community safer.”

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