NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Tuesday night, Metro council voted to continue and expand the program called Partner in Care to all eight police precincts. The program partners Metro police officers with mental health professionals each week.

The success shows through their statistics. In the first year alone, the program received over 1,300 calls and only 4.1% of those ended in an arrest.

“Last week, we had someone flag down a police car and say, ‘I am suicidal,’” Michael Randolph, Program Manager for Partners in Care said.

Eleven mental health professionals, including Randolph, have joined forces with Metro police officers in three of the eight precincts.

“Two out of three people we see have never been seen in our system or the crisis system, and it is a population that I don’t think had the opportunity to be served,” Randolph said.

Randolph said sometimes calls to police are more about a cry for help than a crime.

“A crisis in our definition is someone experiencing suicide, psychosis, and is a risk to harm themselves or others,” he said.

The goal is to keep people out of the criminal justice system and get them into the health care system.

“People have been advocating for a program like this for a very long time. There have been some incidents in our city that we feel like we could have handled better with a program like this,” Amanda Bracht with Mental Health Cooperative said.

Instead of being put behind bars, Bracht said people in need are turned to the Crisis Treatment Center in North Nashville.

The 24/7 crisis line receives over 5,000 calls a month. She said this takes a load off law enforcement, but the demand now falls on more mental health professionals.

“There has been a lot of high intensity escalation situations in our city, and we really want to train those officers and respond the best we can and get clinicians as close to those as possible, and have a city wide apparatus to really help in those situations,” Randolph said.

Currently, three precincts are part of the program. The South Precinct will come on board in November.

Bracht said the plan is to staff the entire city, which could take up to three years.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, the number to the mental health cooperative crisis line is 615-726-0125.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 or dial 988.