Sheriff Marty Boyd- Arkansas Public Official of the Year 2018
L-R: Dr. Cheryl Knight, Sheriff Marty Boyd, Dr. Tamara Glover
The National Association of Social Workers announced Sheriff Marty Boyd for their Arkansas Public Elected Official of the Year for 2018. He was chosen for this award based on several projects he has been involved with over the past years, but specifically his dedication to the mental health issues that affect so many in Arkansas. Doctors Cheryl Knight and Tamara Glover, professors with Arkansas State University College of Social Work, nominated Sheriff Boyd for this distinguished award. They, too, were honored by the NASW for their hard work and persistence to further the awareness of social work in the community.
Specifically, Sheriff Boyd was instrumental in passing Act 423, effectively establishing crisis stabilization units, training for law enforcement officers, and promoting all law enforcement officers to continuing education on recognizing and intervention with mental health and crisis intervention protocol.
As a board member of the Arkansas Sheriff's Association, Sheriff Boyd was able to work towards CIT Training (Crisis Intervention Team) is, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, "model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need."
Sheriff Boyd was also instrumental in the decision made by Governor Asa Hutchinson to open four Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) across the state, including here in Criaghead County. Included in this declaration was a $5 million proposed budget with an increased $14 million budget to ensure the CSUs would be established. The purpose of these units is to have a place for law enforcement officers to hold non-violent offenders who are experiencing a mental health crisis, other than jail.