Sheriff laudedfor commitment to mental health intervention
Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson earned recognition in early October for his commitment to mental health intervention over the past 10 years.
Svenson was named Agency Executive of the Year along with Marion County District Attorney Walt Beglau by Northwest Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). The CIT, according to a press release, "was designed to create awareness and teach techniques for dealing with the vulnerable populations experiencing mental health crisis."
Since taking office in 2015, Svenson has worked to provide access to training by sworn staff and collaborated with nearby counties to offer regional training on dealing with individuals in mental health crisis. Earlier this year he was awarded funding from the state that allowed the YCSO to partner with the McMinnville Police Department and the Yamhill County Behavioral Health Division to offer the training for free to other agencies in the Northwest.
Svenson also partnered with Yamhill County Health and Human Services to provide mental health counseling and crisis management at the county jail and as partners in the Community Crisis Response Team (CCRT). In August he joined with the Yamhill County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in implementing Rural Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), a harm-reduction program which allows deputies and officers on the street to immediately divert individuals, who are otherwise at risk of arrest, into intensive case management services, including those with known or suspected mental health concerns.
The design of the program parallels Svenson's goal of keeping vulnerable populations out of jail and instead connecting them into services they need.