Police Ambulance and Clinical Early Response Program
(Community Recognition Statement, 10 June 2021, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
On behalf of the Sydney electorate, I wish to commend the Police Ambulance and Clinical Early Response (PACER) program, which puts mental health clinicians in first response police teams.
PACER reduces police time dealing with these critical situations, provides skilled and timely mental health help for people in a crisis and reduces emergency department presentations. In the Sydney electorate, this means a mental health expert working with Kings Cross, Surry Hills and Sydney City Police, de-escalating conflict, making an onsite assessment with access to health information Using person-centred trauma informed care, they give immediate help and better link people with community supports to prevent future problems. Police are often called to address crisis situations in the community where someone is not well and experiencing depression, anxiety, delusions or similar conditions. While officers receive some training in dealing with mental illness, expert clinical help results in better outcomes for the individual and the community. PACER is a much more suitable and effective service for those who need a health response rather than arrest and fines or court. I congratulate NSW Police and NSW Health for this innovative approach.