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Department To Receive "Community Citizen Award" From NAMI

The Madison Police Department's (MPD) Mental Health Liaison Program is receiving an award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-Dane County on Wednesday, April 14th. Each year, the Board of Directors for NAMI-Dane County recognizes various individuals and organizations in the community through awards in several categories. The MPD Mental Health Liaison Program will receive the "Community Citizen Award" awarded to "an individual or organization who, despite having no direct provider role, advocates, supports, or provides services to clients with mental illness."

The MPD's Mental Health Liaison Program was established in 2004 in an effort to improve services to persons living with mental illness. The program consists of volunteer officers in each of the 5 districts who, in addition to their routine patrol responsibilities, serve as a liaison to mental health consumers, mental health service providers, and fellow district officers. The liaison officers work proactively with Dane County Mental Health (DCMH), NAMI, the hospitals, and other mental health providers to coordinate and improve services when appropriate. They review officer reports documenting incidences involving a mental health component, and share relevant information with other officers. This district-level approach allows officers to become most familiar with the individuals in their respective districts and to potentially offer effective assistance early as opposed to having to react in a time of crisis. The program's coordinator, Lt. Kristen Roman, who oversees any agency or systems issues with citywide impact, and participates in regular meetings with various stakeholders.

"We are humbled and honored to receive this recognition," said Lt. Roman, adding "We feel this work is very important, and we are proud to partner with agencies like NAMI as we strive to serve all of the citizens of Madison."

The 2010 MPD Mental Health Liaison Officers are:

Central District: Jean Papalia, Chris Masterson, Grant Humerickhouse, Michael Blake, Keri Berling

North District: Colleen Michelson, Sarah Shimko

South District: Sgt. Jen Kane, Nick Ryan, John Christian

East District: Kelly Beckett, Matt Magolan,, Mary Anne Thurber

West District: Trish Drury, Alex Berkovitz, Anthony Hornung, Heather Dzick

Program Coordinator: Lt. Kristen Roman


  • Lt. Kristen Roman, 267-1194
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897