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Co-responder team

Mental health crisis workers ride in patrol cars with specially trained law enforcement officers and, as a team, they respond to mental health calls for service and/or follow up with repeat utilizers. The team also links people with mental illnesses to appropriate services or provides other effective and efficient responses.

For a sample related to this intervention, see this resource:
For more information on this intervention, see this resource:
Local Examples

Middlesex County, MA Arlington Police Department

  • The embedded clinician, called the jail diversion clinician (JDC), responds alongside officers to mental health-related calls for service as well as identifies people in the community that could benefit from follow-up contact through data review and community partners.
  • The team performs outreach and follows up with people to provide ongoing support, treatment referrals, and connection to services.
For a sample related to this example, see this resource:
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Los Angeles County, CA Los Angeles Police Department

  • Los Angeles Police Department started the Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) in 1993, making the city one of the first in the nation to develop and implement the co-responder model.
  • The program deploys 17 co-responder teams on a 24/7 basis to support officers in effectively responding to people in crisis through intervention and referral.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Boulder County, CO Project Early Diversion, Get Engaged (EDGE)

  • Clinicians embedded in local police departments provide on-scene response to calls for service by request of officers, dispatch, or self-staging.
  • Clinicians provide behavioral health follow-up and connection to services.
  • The behavioral health team includes behavioral health clinicians, peer support specialists, and a clinical program supervisor who can be requested for co-response by any officer from participating law enforcement agencies.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Johnson County, KS

  • The co-responder program embeds mental health professionals in city police departments throughout the county.
  • They respond with law enforcement on site when mental illness is identified as a factor in a call.

For more information on this example, see these resources:

Aurora, CO

  • The Crisis Response Team (CRT) pairs mental health professionals with specially trained police officers to respond to calls for service with a mental health component. The team employs a case manager who is tasked with post-contact outreach to connect the client to local resources.
  • The CRT aims to utilize the lowest level of care needed and, when at all possible, provide treatment on the spot, diverting people away from emergency departments and jails. Clinicians coordinate with community providers, use de-escalation skills, and conduct safety planning to provide the client with the most appropriate level of care.
  • The CRT also houses a Targeted Violence Prevention program that utilizes a public health model to educate the community on targeted violence, conduct behavioral threat assessments, and collaborate with community stakeholders to create and enforce threat management plans.



1 - Reduce bookings into jail
3 - Increase connection to treatment

Last updated: October 3, 2022