The Brighton Police Department now has a co-responder team through a partnership with Reaching HOPE, after receiving a $525,703 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The three-year grant is awarded to support cross-system collaboration to improve public safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental health or substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system. The grant is on a cost-sharing schedule to allow the city to sustain the program once the grant award ends.
The co-responder program (CRP) is fully operating and already serving community members. The program pairs mental health clinicians with police officers to assist in helping people who are experiencing mental health crises. “We are so excited to partner with the Brighton PD on continuing to create a healthier and safer community by meeting the mental health needs in this community,” said Ambra Born, Executive Director of Reaching HOPE. The co-responder program will:
- Provide people with on-scene, evidence-based treatment options
- De-escalate individuals in crisis
- Utilize appropriate alternatives to arrest or hospitalization for individuals experiencing serious mental health and/or substance abuse crises
- Connect individuals with local, ongoing, behavioral health and substance use treatment options
The co-responder program consists of two mental health clinicians, a case manager, police department supervisor, Reaching HOPE supervisor, project director, and researcher/evaluator. The research component of the project will allow the department to analyze data to ensure the CRP is effectively being deployed to meet the community’s needs.
During co-responder operating hours, patrol officers can call for a co-response if it appears an individual is in crisis and/or suffering from behavioral health concerns and would benefit from additional support, assessment, and connection to community resources. If it is outside co-responder operating hours, patrol officers can refer individuals for follow-up services from the co-responder team.
“The addition of mental health co-responders is a substantial step forward in meeting the needs of our growing community,” said Brighton Police Chief Matt Domenico. “This program will ensure people experiencing mental health crises get access to the care and treatment they need, while preventing unnecessary referrals to the criminal justice system and reducing repeat calls for service. I am grateful for Brighton PD's partnership with Reaching HOPE that allows us to provide these critically needed services.”
For more information about Brighton Police Department’s Co-Responder Program, visit their page on our website.