Learn more about the Community Responders using our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) below.
- How can I get in touch with CRESS?
You can reach the department on our office phone line, 413.259.3370. You can also reach us through the town dispatch system, which can either be reached through their main line at 413.259.3000, or by dialing 911. Or feel free to drop by the office at the Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, 2nd floor. Be sure to take the elevator up!
- What types of calls will CRESS respond to?
Non-violent emergency calls such as: wellness checks, mental health calls, non-violent school calls, non-trespassed vagrancy, community engagement, public safety assist, and citizen assist.
- How does CRESS deploy?
Responders can deploy either in a town vehicle or on foot.
- How many CRESS Responders are there?
We have eight responders, with four teams of two.
- Why isn't CRESS 24 hours?
The vast majority of CRESS eligible calls occur roughly between 8:00AM to 8:00PM Monday-Saturday, so this is where resources will be focused. It also helps with safety, as calls past midnight can potentially lead to increased safety issues. The CRESS Department currently operates from 8:00AM to 4:00PM Monday - Friday, and 10:00AM to 6:00PM on Saturdays.
- Where does CRESS operate?
CRESS currently only responds to calls within the Town of Amherst or calls relating to Amherst residents.
- How do CRESS Responders stay safe while deployed?
CRESS values safety above all else, and as a result follows closely with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) Report and its section on “Responder Safety” on pages nine and ten.
- Why is the uniform grey?
Grey to be distinct from the Police Department and Fire Department, as well as serving as a metaphor for the work we do, which is historically in the grey area in public safety.
- Where does CRESS get its funding from?
We are funded out of the Town of Amherst budget, as a full department under the public safety spending umbrella. We also receive state and federal grants to provide resources and expand our training programs.
- What is CRESS’s relationship with Amherst Police and Amherst Fire?
CRESS is a fellow department under Public Safety, along with the Police Department, Fire Department, and Dispatch.
- What type of training do CRESS Responders receive?
Responders have received training from the Wildflower Alliance in fields such as suicide and people who hear voices, as well as Motivational Interviewing, Situational Awareness, and CPR training from various instructors and experts.
- Are there other programs like this elsewhere?
Yes, a few similar programs and departments are: Durham, NC Community Response Teams (CRT), Denver, CO Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) Program, Eugene, OR CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets).
70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, MA 01002
2nd Floor Bangs Community Center