Murfreesboro Police Department Adds First Mental Health Co-Responder

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The Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD) has partnered with Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System in adding the department’s first mental health co-responder.

Heather Noulis is a full-time employee with Volunteer Behavioral Health Murfreesboro but is assigned to work with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers at MPD.  Her office is at MPD headquarters.

Noulis will assist officers responding to mental health calls for service and conduct evaluations and assessments of mental health consumers. 

“Bridging the gap between law enforcement and mental health with on-scene resources is our goal,” said Noulis.  “Reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in our community is key.”

“This is an example of a cooperative effort between law enforcement and mental health professionals in addressing an issue that affects the lives of many,” said Chief Michael Bowen.  “Noulis’ education and background as a mental health professional can assist our officers in dealing with individuals experiencing a crisis event and getting them the help they need.”

More than 60 MPD officers and dispatchers have completed a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training course.  All other officers are required to undergo specialized mental health training. 

Noulis started her new role Wednesday, Feb. 9.  She will respond to calls with CIT Instructor/Officer Quentin Peeler, and other CIT officers.