Cape Girardeau Police Department’s Co-Responder Unit shares update on their progress
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - In Cape Girardeau, the mental health co-responder unit has already exceeded expectations in less than a year.
The Community Counseling Center, in partnership with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, first introduced the co-responder unit (CRU) back in March as they began working in the community.
Now, Program Manager Kyle Schott says they’ve responded to more than six hundred calls. That’s six times their goal of one hundred calls that Schott says that they had set for their first year.
The partnership between the Community Counseling Center and the police has also allowed the co-responders to get people into appropriate treatment instead of jail or the emergency room.
Schott says officers do have some crisis training, but CRU streamlines the process.
“Officers at the most might receive CIT training, which is crisis intervention team, which gives them some skills to intervene and do some de-escalation, but this is really putting professional help on the scene at a time when individuals either are most vulnerable or most need that type of professional help,” Schott said.
Cape Girardeau is one of the smallest communities in the country to have a co-responder unit. Schott says it’s been amazing to see the program thrive in just eight months and he’s excited to see it continue to grow in the future.
For non-emergencies, you can call the Cape Girardeau Police Dept. and select option 5 for a member of the co-responder unit.
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