David writes: “Since February of last year, I have been working to draft and then present legislation which provides the framework for creation of co-responder teams across the state.
“Co-responders are teams of law enforcement officers and behavioral health clinicians who respond to circumstances where individuals are experiencing behavioral health crises. These teams de-escalate situations, reduce injuries, and divert individuals away from jail to treatment.
“Athens-Clarke has three of these teams. I participated in drafting the bill and then I testified on the bill to both House and Senate Health and Human Services Committees. The bill passed with unanimous votes in both chambers.
“This past Monday, Kay and I were invited to the Capitol to attend the Governor’s signing ceremony of SB 403, the Georgia Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Co-Responder Act.
“I am really proud to have been part of this effort to bring more skillful responses to those who experience behavioral health disorders and have contact with law enforcement.”