BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Common Council has passed a resolution calling for additional mental health resources for Buffalo Police Department members, the council announced Tuesday.
The resolution calls for the department to add a full-time peer mental health position in the 2023-24 budget to provide support and resources to officers facing mental health challenges. It also directs the department to provide 2-3 paid mental health days per year to officers who attend appointments with mental health professionals.
The council says that the resolution, which was led by councilmember Christopher Scanlon, comes in response to “unprecedented” mental health-related deaths in the Buffalo Police Department in the past two years.
The council said that “this incentive aims to encourage proactive care and remove the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health concerns.”
“We are experiencing a mental heath crisis within our police department,” Scanlon said. “We cannot stand idle while we love these valued members of our community and the department. We must be proactive in offering any and all assistance available. It is time to protect those who protect us.”
According to the council, Scanlon intends to use this resolution as a framework to push for similar policies in the Buffalo Fire Department.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.