COLORADO: Colo. Sheriff’s Office to Pair Mental Health Specialists with Deputies
February 09, 2018
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is launching a new program to support people with mental health issues. With funding from the Colorado Department of Human Services, the sheriff’s office will establish a five-year co-responder program that will pair mental health specialists with police deputies. Co-responder teams will answer mental health-related calls and connect people with treatment and support services in the community. The program is hoped to improve responses to people with mental health needs and also help reduce unnecessary contact with the justice system. In 2014, the Colorado Springs Police Department started a similar program that has helped provide more mental health care to people in their home and reduce their dependence on emergency services. Since then, it has reduced the proportion of mental health-related emergencies sent to the emergency department from 90 to 10 percent.
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