PORTLAND — The Police Department was awarded a nearly $185,000 grant to improve its response to services calls from people with metal illnesses. 

The two-year grant from the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, will be used to hire a full-time mental health coordinator to implement cross-system collaboration between police and mental health officials.

Among other duties, the coordinator will also implement a system for tracking and monitoring mental health calls with the aim of improving service and reducing the number of repeat calls.

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