Tucker award

Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brian Swanty, left, presents Deputy Chief David Tucker with the 2021 David’s Hope Crisis Response Officer of Distinction award for the training program Tucker established to better handle mental health related calls and jail situations.

HOLBROOK — In their mission to better handle calls that involve people with mental health issues, Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse and Chief Deputy Brian Swanty announced that Deputy Chief David Tucker was named the 2021 David’s Hope Crisis Response Officer of Distinction.

Law enforcement response to mental health-related calls has been at the forefront in the media in recent years.

In an email announcing the honor bestowed on Tucker, Swanty said the county and NCSO are working hard to handle mental health/illness-related calls the best way possible for the best outcomes through a mental health response training module established by Tucker for deputies and county jail staff and additional training.

“Navajo County is working very diligently with the different mental health programs to provide resources and proper treatment for individuals we encounter with mental illness. Deputy Chief Tucker has taken a very proactive response to address deficiencies in the mental health recognition, response and treatment process in Navajo County,” Swanty stated in his email.

“Deputy Chief Tucker, working with the Navajo County Attorney’s Office, has established a training module specifically designed for patrol officers and jail staff at the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Chief Tucker has recognized the critical need for mental health services for incidents that do not meet a criminal nexus. Every year David’s Hope honors law enforcement officers for exemplary service and leadership in responding to individuals in a mental health crisis,” Swanty wrote.

Swanty said that through Tucker’s program, they hope to reduce the number of suspects with mental disorders and addiction from being put in jail by using prevention, intervention, and treatment instead of incarceration when possible.

“David’s Hope promotes and secures treatment for those with mental health disorders and addictions through increasing collaboration between our mental health and criminal justice systems. David’s Hope provides education, mentoring, teaching people how to advocate for themselves and others. Through education and mentoring we hope to create understanding in the community of the issues facing those living with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system,” Swanty stated in closing.

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