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Shaheen Visits Dover Police Department to Discuss Mental Health Emergency Responses

(Dover, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), visited the Dover Police Department to meet with Chief William Breault and members of the Dover Police Social Work Unit to learn more about the Department’s innovative approach to addressing mental health emergencies, homelessness and substance use disorder. Shaheen helped the Department secure $109,000 in 2021 from DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) grant program for the police department to start the unit and hire a social worker to coordinate mental health services, respond to crises and ensure those in need can access resources in the community. Photos from today’s event can be found here

“From mental health emergencies to homelessness and substance use disorder, police departments are called upon to address a wide range of challenges in their communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “I was pleased to visit the Dover Police Department and learn more about how its Social Work Unit is enabling the Department to better respond to these crises, strengthening community trust and ultimately, making Dover a safer place for everyone.” 

Through her role as Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen has prioritized funding for programs that strengthen police-community relations. In this year’s government funding legislation, Shaheen secured $23,212,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending to build safe and prosperous communities and other priorities.  

In the FY2024 legislation, Shaheen also helped allocate $256 million to the COPS Hiring Program, which will place over 2,000 more police officers in the streets. Funding was also included for programs that support officer mental health and wellness, the purchase of body-worn cameras, bulletproof vests and rural law enforcement needs. Additionally, Shaheen helped secure $924 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, which is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.