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Mobile response team launched

The Durham Regional Police Service and numerous local partners have launched a new mobile response team to help vulnerable persons in the Durham community.

The Vulnerable Person Outreach Project (VPOP) began Oct. 12 and combines a specially-trained DRPS officer with a nurse and social worker to respond to calls. The focus will be on the homeless and their complex support needs.

The program, which has been funded for two years thanks to a Proceeds of Crime grant from the provincial government, will run Mondays and Fridays. It will be integrated with other outreach services in the community and offers another layer of support for frontline workers responding to the needs of the most vulnerable citizens.

Partners include the Region of Durham Health and Social Services Departments, Lakeridge Health – Oshawa, UOIT, and the Durham Elder Abuse Network (DEAN). Other agencies, such as the John Howard Society and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences will be brought in from time to time as needed.

Vulnerable persons with elevated levels of risk will be linked with Durham Connect in an effort to find longer-term solutions for their complex needs.

Anyone interested in learning more is asked to contact Insp. Bruce Townley of the Patrol Support Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5655.