The number of calls for welfare checks has been increasing throughout the state, leading many departments to believe this is becoming more cause for concern.

According to the Dickinson Police Department, it’s seeing the same trend and it has increased even more recently.

Lt. Mike Hanel says people seem to be more despondent since the pandemic. He added many people are not reaching out to family and friends.

Hanel says when the department receives welfare check-in calls, it’s important that they are prepared to respond in the best way.

“We’re at the beginning process of developing a crisis and intervention team. These CIT teams are becoming pretty regular around larger agencies in the United States and this concept is now caught its way here in our area,” said Hanel.

Hanel says the department recently began training sessions for CIT teams.

He says the team will respond with mental health professionals and others to those in need of substance abuse assistance, as well as those experiencing mental health issues.