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Diverted police funding goes to mental health center

April 21, 2021 GMT

LANHAM, Md. (AP) — Officials in a Washington suburb marked the groundbreaking this week of a mental health treatment center funded by money diverted from a police training facility.

Prince George’s County redirected the $20 million for the facility after the police killing of George Floyd, The Washington Post reported.

The facility at Doctors Community Medical Center in Lanham will help address a long-standing disparity in access to mental and behavioral health care in the county, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said at a news conference.

“We are asking in many instances police to do work they are not equipped or trained to do,” Alsobrooks said. “We are going to treat people with the dignity they deserve, in facilities where they can actually be healed.”

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The facility will provide both inpatient and outpatient services. Part of it is slated to open later this year.

The diversion of the funds means a new public safety facility that’s being built won’t include a police training facility, a spokeswoman for Alsobrooks told the newspaper. Police training will continue at the department’s headquarters.