New Barnstable County Sheriff Reflects on First Few Months in Office

Donna Buckley

HYANNIS – Now over three months into the job, Barnstable County Sheriff Donna Buckley says she’s looking to continue her focus on mental health and expanding youth outreach services.

One of the programs Buckley has renewed is the youth academy.

“It is an academy and experience for middle and high school students who are referred to us either from their schools, or from the courts, or sometimes from their families. Who needs help with skill building to help make better choices,” said Buckley.

The academy will begin on July 5 and run through July 27, with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce sponsoring.

The academy will be held at Cape Cod Community College.

Since her inauguration on January 4, Sheriff Buckley has also focused on staffing positions including Director of Inmate Programs, Director of Government and Community Relations, Executive Director of Communications, and a full-time Youth Officer.

During her campaign, Buckley spoke about mental health first-aid, for which training has already begun for the department.

“It’s similar to having all of your staff trained to do CPR, except mental health first aid is an effort to make sure that everyone is in a position to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorder,” Buckley said.

Buckley said those issues are common among the incarcerated populations, as well as potentially with staff and their families.

Other planned initiatives include re-opening vocational shops, like wood shops and print shops, to teach marketable skills to inmates for future employment.

About Zachary Clapp

Zack is a graduate from Cape Cod Community College who is an avid sports fan and loves everything radio.  Zack joined the NewsCenter in 2023.
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