Submitted on behalf of the Bedford Police Department
The Police Chiefs of Acton, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle, Lincoln, Lexington, Stow, Maynard and Hanscom Air Force Base, which make up the Central Middlesex Police Partnership (CMPP), are pleased to announce that the Bedford Police Department has a new Jail Diversion Program (JDP) Clinician, Mackenzie Dezieck.
Dezieck began her role as the JDP Clinician for Eliot Community Human Services and the Police Departments of Bedford, Acton, Concord, Carlisle, Lincoln, Lexington, Stow Maynard and Hanscom Air Force Base (HAFB) on Monday, June 24.
Chief Robert Bongiorno said in an email interview, “The Bedford Police Department is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a clinician to connect our community members suffering from substance use and mental health to critical resources, programming and support. We’re thrilled to be working with Mackenzie, and thankful to our partners, the Department of Mental Health, Eliot Center, and our neighboring law enforcement agencies, for working together to make this program possible”
In her new role, Dezieck will work in partnership with police officers in each community to provide resources, support and assistance to those struggling with substance use and mental health. When police are called to incidents involving substance use and/or mental health, Dezieck will also respond. As the JDP clinician, Dezieck will also follow up with people after those incidents to connect those individuals with resources and programming.
Dezieck will divide her time among each police department and the HAFB.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Mackenzie as the new JDP clinician, and to get this invaluable program up and running again to help those in our communities struggling with mental health and substance use,” said Deborah Garfield, director of outpatient services at the Eliot Center in Concord. “Having someone who is as qualified and experienced as Mackenzie working alongside local police departments as they respond to these calls will be monumental in connecting these people to life saving resources and help.”
Dezieck has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Assumption College and is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). For the past two years, she has worked in the Peace Corps in communities around Fiji, where she served as a life skills teacher and mental health provider, developed and led women’s empowerment camp and worked on community development projects including water sanitation, environmental sustainability and health and wellness programs.
Before joining the Peace Corps, Dezieck worked at Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in Boston as a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor, where she worked with individuals suffering from psychiatric, substance use, physical and intellectual disabilities.
The Jail Diversion program started in November 2015 and has been on hold since December 2018 while an extensive search was conducted for the right candidate. The program will also be able to utilize the skills of a full time recovery coach through Eliot Community Human Services.