Charleston Plans to Add a Mental Health Coordinator

The city of Charleston plans to hire a mental health coordinator to work alongside police, help out in crises, and conduct community outreach. The Charleston City Council voted this week to approve using federal grant money to pay for the two-year position, which will serve as a pilot project for the city. The Gazette-Mail said Police Chief Tyke Hunt supports adding the position because having officers handle mental health emergencies makes the job more difficult. Councilman Joe Jenkins said the position aims to allow the police department to put more resources toward tracking criminals instead of dealing with mental health situations.