Moultrie PD co-responder program gets national recognition

Moultrie PD co-responder program gets national recognition
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:48 PM EST
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - The Moultrie Police Department is getting national recognition for its efforts in community outreach.

The Department’s co-responder program will keep counselors on hand to assist the Department, and the collaboration is made possible by the University of Georgia (UGA) Archway.

“My role with the corresponding model was to research best practices for the Moultrie Police Department to implement the corresponding model in their community. I’ve spoken with people at CDC have spoken with Department of Public Health to get data to give to all Moultrie,” said Caleb Snead, a student at UGA and data researcher.

One of the first to implement this program was the Athens Police Department. UGA Archway wanted to partner with rural areas like Moultrie to provide access to mental health resources.

“It’s been very successful since the first day, Julio Vanille arrived as our counselor. He has made a minimum of three calls a day and has been very effective at helping people. I always quote former Governor Zell Miller that said, put people in jail that you’re scared of find a way to help the others. And that’s our approach in Moultrie,” said Peter Dillard, City Manager of Moultrie.

The program has helped Moultrie improve not only mental health issues. It’s also filled a gap for other upgrades and improvements for the city.

“Another program was our humane society needed a lot of upgrades. So, they brought in engineering students and did a study and made a recommendation of how to upgrade and improve our Humane Society. So, it’s tremendous support and all different aspects of our community,” said Dillard.

Anyone who needs access to these services can call the Moultrie Police Department or the Mental Health Center once it opens this February.