Cops, Courts and Fire Government

Hunterdon County Launches Program To Help Cops With Mental Health Crisis Calls

Hunterdon County has introduced a new program to improve responses to mental health crises.

A Hunterdon County 9-1-1 dispatcher. File photo.
Credit: Hunterdon County

Hunterdon County officials have launched the ARRIVE Together program this week, a new initiative designed to provide a compassionate response to 9-1-1 calls involving mental health crises, Prosecutor Renée Robeson and Chief of Detectives Timothy J. Drew announced.

The program, which stands for “Alternative Responses to Reduce Instances of Violence & Escalation,” is a collaborative effort between Hunterdon County’s law enforcement agencies, including the City of Lambertville Police Department; New Jersey State Police; and Hunterdon Health Behavioral Health Services.

The new approach pairs trained police officers with mental health screeners to address emergency calls related to mental health issues effectively, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The specialized response team will also conduct follow-up visits to ensure individuals are receiving the support they need, officials said.

Robeson expressed optimism about the program’s potential for law enforcement and the collaboration between local, county, and state officials.

“Together we can save lives and keep our officers safe,” she stated.

Drew emphasized the significance of the county’s crisis intervention team training, which, when combined with ARRIVE Together, equips officers with resources to aid those experiencing mental health challenges.

The ARRIVE initiative originated in 2021 under the guidance of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Human Services, aiming to enhance the response to behavioral health incidents and prevent escalation during crises.

Bucks County presently runs a similar co-responder program that pairs social workers with police departments.

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