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Nanaimo RCMP modifying cruiser to accommodate better mental health crisis support

Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers donates $4,800 to construct divider in patrol car’s back seat
Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers program vice-president Brian Cornborough, middle, presents a cheque for $4,800, Dec. 5, to Const. Josh Waltman, left, and mental health nurse Lianne Rear to have a back seat security divider installed in Nanaimo RCMP mental health crisis team’s patrol car. (Photo submitted)

The Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health crisis team is happy about an upcoming division for their ranks that is also being endorsed by the Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers.

Crisis team members have proposed a modification be made to the back seat of their patrol car, which they refer to as Car 54. The team came up with the idea of having a customized plastic or glass divider installed in the back seat of the cruiser so that a family member, mental health nurse or even an observer can ride safely in the back seat when a person suffering a mental health crisis is being transported.

“It’s a big job,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson. “They’ve got to completely retrofit the whole back seat and it will the the first car on the Island to have that.”

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the presence of a family member or trained mental health nurse has been shown to significantly reduce the negative impact on someone in the throes of a mental health crisis.

The Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers program, formerly Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers, has shown its support for the idea by donating $4,800 to help cover the costs of the car’s modifications to install the secure divider.

O’Brien said the donation was presented Dec. 5 and the vehicle modification will be carried out next month.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health liaison says his role will take persistence and resilience

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