The Providence Center is committed to the health and safety of Rhode Island communities, and a unique partnership with police departments across the state makes that happen. Beginning in Providence in 2012, the program now has placed clinicians in police departments in Providence, Warwick, West Warwick, and a coalition of six Washington County communities.
Clinicians ride along with police officers to respond to individuals in psychiatric or substance use crises. Working together to address these crises ensures that people in need get the right amount of care. On the scene, the clinician de-escalates the situation conducts a clinical assessment on-site to arrive at the most appropriate recommendation for their care and safety. In many cases, a referral to The Providence Center’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, a hospital or other treatment facility provides a more effective alternative solution. In addition to their day-to-day duties, the clinicians bring behavioral health knowledge and training to their respective departments. "The partnership has been positive for all. The Providence Center clinicians are able to connect people who need it most to treatment, and the officers gain a greater understanding about how to deal with people in a mental health or substance use crisis and avoid unnecessary arrests," said Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., Chief of Police.