CRESS is a fellow department under Public Safety, along with the Police Department, Fire Department, and Dispatch.
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CRESS office phone numbers and office walk-ins. CRESS Responders can also self-deploy and initiate community interactions.
Non-violent emergency calls such as: wellness checks, mental health calls, non-violent school calls, non-trespassed vagrancy, community engagement, public safety assist, and citizen assist.
Responders can deploy either in a town vehicle or on foot.
We have eight responders, with four teams of two.
The vast majority of CRESS eligible calls occur roughly between 8am to 8pm Monday-Saturday, so this is where resources will be focused. It also helps with safety, as calls past midnight can potentially lead to increased safety issues.
CRESS currently only responds to calls within the Town of Amherst or calls relating to Amherst residents.
CRESS values safety above all else, and as a result follows closely with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) Report and its section on “Responder Safety” on pages nine and ten.
Grey to be distinct from the Police Department and Fire Department, as well as serving as a metaphor for the work we do, which is historically in the grey area in public safety.
We are funded out of the Town of Amherst budget, as a full department under the public safety spending umbrella. We also receive state and federal grants to provide resources and expand our training programs.
Responders have received training from the Wildflower Alliance in fields such as suicide and people who hear voices, as well as Motivational Interviewing, Situational Awareness, and CPR training from various instructors and experts.
Yes, a few similar programs and departments are: Durham, NC Community Response Teams (CRT), Denver, CO Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) Program, Eugene, OR CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets).