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The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the store chain Target announced Monday that the City of Huntington is the small population winner of this year’s Police Reform and Equitable Justice Grant Program.
The program is designed to identify, promote and support police policies and practices that cities of all sizes are finding to be most effective in advancing the goal of justice for all residents.
Huntington was recognized for its Crisis Intervention Team, which pairs mental health providers with police officers to respond to mental health/co-occurring substance use crises. City officials and community health agencies developed the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) with the Huntington Police Department in September 2022.
The purpose of the CIT is to handle active mental health crises in the community that cannot be solved by other mental health programs such as crisis phone numbers. The CIT is a part of the department’s new Coordinated Care Unit that will focus solely on mental health needs within the community. In addition to the Huntington Police Department’s Mental Health Liaison and CIT officers, the project currently partners with the Mayor’s Council on Drug Control Policy and mental health providers in the community.
In the third year of this competitive grant program, judges named one winner in the program’s large (over 300,000), mid-sized (100,000 – 300,000) and small (under 100,000) population categories. Huntington was the winner in the small population category. Arlington, Texas (large category) and Lansing, Michigan (mid-sized category) also were named winners
Huntington will share in a total of $350,000 in grant funds with the other two winning cities.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are more than 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.