FWBPD, Bridgeway Center Inc. Team up to Address Mental Health/Substance Abuse Crises

FWBPD, Bridgeway Center Inc. Team up to Address Mental Health/Substance Abuse Crises

EMAT PicOn February 27, 2018, the Fort Walton Beach City Council voted unanimously to approve a new partnership between the Fort Walton Beach Police Department and Bridgeway Center, Inc. to form an Emergency Mobile Access Team, or EMAT.

Through grant funding and the EMAT partnership, Bridgeway employs three professional clinical staff members who will be on call to assist City Police Officers with incidents involving people who may be experiencing a mental health or substance abuse issue or crisis.

With a goal of linking those in crisis with the behavioral healthcare options they need, these on-scene consultations can potentially de-escalate scenarios and hopefully offer police officers a workable alternative to using the Baker Act or incarceration, while still assuring public safety and a secure scene.

The EMAT partnership is now in effect in the City of Fort Walton Beach, as we continue to work toward more solutions for mental health and substance abuse crises in our community.

Visit City of Fort Walton Beach Public Info or Fort Walton Beach Police Department Facebook pages for video.