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Block Grant includes co-responder unit for police departments

The York County Commissioners recently approved submission of the Human Services Block Grant Plan on behalf of the county’s Human Services Department. The grant request is for $17.9 million, which is roughly 6 percent of the Human Services Department’s nearly $284 million budget.

The plan, available on the county’s website, includes a co-responder unit, which will be located at police facilities. These individuals will act as liaisons between police and the county’s mental health program to support people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. This will help police departments in their responses. It will also free up officers to handle other emergencies.

Co-responders will go with officers on calls involving a mental health crisis. Once the call is completed, responders will connect people with the resources and help they need.

“We are excited about this type of collaboration because we believe it will improve safety, increase access to behavioral healthcare and strengthen community relations,” said Clair Doll, executive director of the county’s Human Services Department. “The co-responder teams draw upon the combined experiences of the officer and the mental health professional to improve outcomes and assist those experiencing a mental health crisis. This is an incredible step forward towards increasing public safety and improving access to behavioral healthcare.”

The co-responder initiative is a collaboration effort between the police departments, York County District Attorney’s Office, Adult Probation, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), Mental Health (MH/IDD), as well as WellSpan/Philhaven.

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