The City of Boerne is taking a proactive approach to address a trend they have been tracking regarding mental health calls Boerne police have been experiencing.
Rebecca Foley, the former community outreach intervention program officer, is now taking on a new role as a mental health officer starting in January.
Foley’s job will be to connect people facing a mental health crisis with resources.
“Crisis calls, they’re really intense at the moment. We usually send two officers to calls like that,” she said.
Police can place those facing a crisis in emergency detention to get them help. Foley will then follow up with those individuals after they are released to see what additional services they might need.
Foley, a former firefighter and paramedic, has a master’s in criminal justice. She says that experience has helped her to prepare for this job. But she wants to take it to the next level and is currently working on a master’s in mental health counseling at Texas A&M.
Foley says talking about mental wellbeing is important to ensure that officers and the community are healthy.
“I’m dedicated to their mental health and to their wellness. If [officers] are not good, we’re not going to be good for the people in our community,” Foley said.
Boerne Police Department has about 43 officers on staff. Foley’s position is a pilot program. The department will assess how the program does and what else is needed to help the community.