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Police Chief looks to cut down mental health patient transfer time

'The number of officers on the street is significantly diminished when we have officers tied up at the hospital'
New Chief Daryl Longworth speaks to the media after Tuesday's April Police Board Meeting.

North Bay Police Chief Daryl Longworth continues to adjust to his new police chief position. 

During Tuesday's North Bay Police Board meeting, the new chief expressed interest in meeting Paul Heinrich, the North Bay Regional Health Centre's CEO, to discuss mental health patient transfer time. 

"The calls I am specifically speaking of our mental health calls where our officers have made an apprehension," explained Longworth.

"We have a wonderful mental health response through the police service here where we are partnered with Mental Health worker's nursing staff that work in partner with our officers so we have been able to streamline a lot of the number of apprehensions we are doing but those apprehensions that we are doing, we still want to continue on that streamlining and the efficiency piece to make better use of all of our resources, both our resources and the hospital's resources."

Longworth admits more than 100 hours spent per month processing mental health patients, are valuable hours officers are not spending patrolling the streets of North Bay. 

"The number of officers on the street is significantly diminished when we have officers tied up at the hospital," explained Longworth.

Longworth says it is part of the Mental Health Act that requires his officers to be at the hospital until they are accepted. 

"It is just a conversation to see how we can speed up the process at both ends to get our officers back on the street and be available to answer emergency calls when they are called upon," he said. 

"I know they have processes and methods they have to go through as well but I intend to meet with the CEO because I am new here and there are a number of people in the community that I would like to meet and the CEO of the hospital is certainly one of those." 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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