Veterans Court and crisis intervention training for police could receive funding next fiscal year

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SALISBURY — Two county projects could receive federal funding for fiscal year 2024: a law enforcement crisis intervention training program and the Rowan County veterans treatment court.

On Monday, The Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to submit the projects into an appropriations request being taken by North Carolina’s United States Sen. Thom Tillis’ office. If they are selected by Tillis, they will be reviewed by one of the Senate Appropriations subcommittees and a decision on whether to award funding will be made in October 2023. Funding for the projects will be available in spring 2024.

The first project

The Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Training Program is a proposal that will set up training for officers to make sure they have appropriate responses to individuals suffering from mental health, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities or behavioral crises, including getting those individuals access to suitable treatment.

If the proposed project wins funding, the training will be made available to law enforcement and detention center staff employed by the county and its 10 municipalities.

The commissioners sent a request of $775,000 to Tillis’ office.

The second project

The Rowan County Veterans Treatment Court is a program set up for eligible veterans, particularly those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other cognitive impairments due to their service, from committing another crime in the future. Creating the court could give help to the more than 9,000 veterans who live in the county.

The non-traditional court will operate as a part court, part program to support eligible veterans. Core services include access to treatment for substance use, alcoholism, mental health and improvement on academic/vocational skills.

The commissioners passed a resolution supporting the project last year. During Monday’s meeting they voted to send a request of $546,600 for the project to Tillis’ office. Veteran’s Services Director Justan Mounts has been trying to make the veterans court happen for a little over a year now.

Currently, there are five veterans courts operating in North Carolina. Harnett County launched the first one in the state 10 years ago; there are similar programs in Buncombe, Catawba, Cumberland and Forsyth counties.