Following a night shift filled with mental-health-related calls, a veteran member of the Estevan Police Service said the Police and Crisis Team is making a positive impact in the city.
Sgt. Tyler McMillen said police were called to a local business for a report of a disturbance last night where male was yelling and speaking nonsensically,
He was arrested for breaching probation and for causing a disturbance and held in custody over night, and set up with PACT workers to help him navigate mental-health issues.
Police were also called to a disturbance where members and PACT workers spent what McMillen called "a considerable amount of time" working with a male and female. A newborn was also in the apartment.
McMillen said several others also reached out to the police during the shift, as they were dealing with a variety of mental and emotional challenges.
He said PACT workers have more experience with these situations, and being able to rely on them frees up more time for police and healthcare workers.
"A lot of times in these crises we end up in emergency rooms and we tie up nurses and doctors," said McMillen. "For example, last night, with the amount of different mental health or crisis-type stuff we had last night, none of them had to go to the hospital."
The province invested $350,000 to get PACT running in Estevan, and said it was operational by June 2022.
McMillen said he's thankful that people are comfortable approaching police when dealing with tough circumstances.
"It makes you feel good. Just to spend a little bit of time with them, and for them to feel comfortable and reach out, it means a lot and we're here to try and help the best we can.
"We're not total experts in it, but we can certainly lend an ear. Sometimes that's all they need, and sometimes they need a little bit more. We're lucky to have different services in town that we can offer and give them some phone numbers and hopefully set them up."