FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The Frederick Police Department’s “Crisis Car” program is helping residents after receiving funds from the department of justice.

The program, which pairs officers with mental health professionals to respond to behavioral situations where law enforcement is not necessary, received more than $280,000 in federal funding.

“There’s a significant issue in suffering from mental health crisis and we wanted to find an innovative way to deal with that,” Police Chief Jason Lando explained. “Rather than always just sending a police car or just sending a mental specialist out on their own.”

The funding will allow the program to be more present in the community by expanding the program’s hours to eight hours a day. So far, the program has been able to save many lives and with the expansion of its hours, and that number should start to steadily increase.