STAFFORD - The Stafford Township Police Department under Chief Thomas Dellane received a special honor on Thursday, April 20.  The men and women of the department were honored as one of six recipients in New Jersey to receive an Ambassador Award from the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma. 

The Ambassador Awards honors Law Enforcement Professionals that provide effective support, services or programs that reduce the ways in which society stigmatizes people with mental illnesses. 

Stafford Police received this award in recognition of our unique and innovative On-POINT program.  On-POINT is a pilot project that began on September 15, 2016.  The police department in partnership with Ocean Mental Health Services implemented On-POINT to address the high volume of mental health, substance abuse and other social service calls that consume a disproportionate volume of police and emergency resources. 

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The partnership provides on-site social workers at Stafford Township Police Department two days per week. On-POINT staff assist in providing early intervention to individuals who may otherwise be arrested or over utilize other scarce acute and emergency services.

Referrals into the program are made by police department personnel and to date 80 referrals have been made into the program. 

“In the six months the program has been in existence we have effected positive change in many people’s lives and in fact have saved at least one life,” said Stafford Police Chief Thomas Dellane. “I salute the men and women of the police department who have embraced this program for their recognition that it is critical we treat all those suffering from mental health issues with dignity and respect regardless of their disability.”