STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE
St. Albans barracks honored for collaborative work with Northwestern Counseling & Support Services
ALBANS – The Vermont State Police barracks in St. Albans was honored this week for its work collaborating with Northwestern Counseling & Support Services to benefit the community the organizations serve.
The Marcheta Townsend Community Partner Award is presented to individuals from outside NCSS who join with the agency to ensure success. The St. Albans Barracks, led by Lt. Maurice Lamothe, and the St. Albans Police Department, led by Chief Gary Taylor, were joint recipients of the 2018 honor.
State police in St. Albans have worked with an embedded mental-health clinician on calls for service for more than two years. The program enables responding authorities to work together to provide services from the first moment they are needed and help increase successful outcomes in potentially dangerous situations, including through de-escalation techniques.
“The collaboration between Northwestern Counseling & Support Services and the Vermont State Police in Franklin County has been a game-changer,” Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas D. Anderson said. “Having a mental-health clinician embedded with and working alongside troopers improves officer safety and often allows for better outcomes for those suffering from mental illness.”
Clinician Nicholas Tebbetts accompanies state troopers from the St. Albans barracks on nearly every call during his work week – everything from barricaded, suicidal subjects to vehicle crashes, Lt. Lamothe said.
“We bring him along as often as we can. It’s absolutely constant,” the lieutenant said. “Every time people call the Vermont State Police, they are in some form of crisis. That’s why they’re calling VSP. Nic’s skill set and his use to us is never-ending, whether it is at a domestic and he is there to facilitate de-escalation, or whether he’s calming people down during a difficult time and helping connect them with immediate mental-health services.”
Northwestern Counseling & Support Services presented the award at the 2018 Board of Directors Annual Meeting & Recognition Night on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the American Legion in St. Albans.
“The biggest thing is all the stories you don’t hear about, that aren’t on the front page of the newspaper, that are going on day in and day out,” said Joe Halko, NCSS director of community relations.
“It’s an opportunity in certain instances to resolve situations in a very safe manner that might not have been possible if only one of the individuals – the trooper or the clinician – had been there,” Halko added. “Having an embedded mental-health clinician in many instances can de-escalate a situation – and maybe that’s the only thing that can de-escalate a situation.”
Commissioner Anderson said the state police are exploring expanding the embedded clinician program to barracks statewide following the success of the program in St. Albans.
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Photo attached, captioned as follows: Members of the Vermont State Police and Northwestern Counseling & Support Services stand for a photo after the St. Albans Barracks received the Marcheta Townsend Community Partner Award from NCSS on Wednesday night, Nov. 7, 2018, at the American Legion in St. Albans. Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Steve Broer, NCSS director of behavioral health services; Nic Tebbetts, mobile crisis outreach; Vermont Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas D. Anderson; VSP Trooper Mike Mattuchio; VSP Trooper Chris Hunt; VSP Lt. Maurice Lamothe, St. Albans Barracks commander; and Todd Bauman, NCSS executive director.
Vermont State Police
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