Sheriff seeks to add mental health workers to staff

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

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

“This program will have a few mental health workers on staff to respond to calls for service as well as working within our facility for the inmate population,” 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 life.”