Kathleen Dias | 6/27/2022
Sheriff Fred Lamphere of Butte County, South Dakota, was blunt: “This is our future. We can’t fight it. My initial impression was ‘no one is going to talk to a box’, but, we all talk to boxes, don’t we?”
He was talking about his department’s successful experiment using tablet technology to bring mental health practitioners to people in crisis, no matter how small the town or remote the setting.
“Honestly, I can’t say enough about it,” he said, and I was surprised, in a good way. Technology is often proposed to fill gaps in rural policing; then it runs into reality in the form of long distances, rough geography, sad budgets and bad internet service. Skepticism has become my default. Virtual Crisis Care as provided by Avel eCare seems to be a welcome exception.