Bello: Monroe County to boost mental health team staffing |

Bello: Monroe County to boost mental health team staffing

Updated: March 16, 2021 05:20 PM
Created: March 16, 2021 10:28 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County will boost staffing for its Forensic Intervention Team (FIT), which is called to mental health scenes by law enforcement, County Executive Adam Bello announced Tuesday.

During a briefing Tuesday, Bello said the team will now have 28 full-time employees, an increase of 18 new employees. He said the move will help connect people in need of behavioral health support with treatment, and reduce the need for "interaction" with emergency responders.

Bello was joined by Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services Corinda Crossdale, Undersheriff Korey Brown, Fairport Police Chief Sam Farina, and Office of Mental Health Director Dr. April Aycock.

Bello said the move was made as part of a 90-day task force he convened in the wake of the death of Daniel Prude. He said the team only had five full-time employees when he took over as county executive at the beginning of 2020.

The announcement comes a week after a Rochester Police Department officer shot and killed Tyshon Jones, 29, in front of the Open Door Mission on Wednesday after police say he charged at the officer with a large knife. Jones's family said he was having a mental health crisis, prompting calls for changes in the way police deal with people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The FIT team is different from the city's Persons In Crisis team (PIC), News10NBC has asked officers why that team did not assist in the Open Door Mission case, to which, we were told, the call was not made for PIC.

Watch the briefing in the player below, or click here if you are on a mobile device.

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