The Office of Research and Statistics, within the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), is seeking applicants from Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) or agencies that operate PSAPs to become a Colorado Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Alternative Response (AR) Peer Learning Site. Apply by March 1, 2024.
It is estimated that 20 percent of incoming 9-1-1 calls are associated with mental health or substance use. A traditional law enforcement response does not adequately address the needs of individuals during a behavioral health crisis. Alternative Response (AR) programs aim to increase public safety with early intervention for callers experiencing a crisis related to behavioral health symptoms and connect them to services and resources to address these needs. By facilitating cross-system collaboration, an individual’s likelihood of entering or reentering the criminal justice system reduces.
Colorado PSAP AR Peer Learning Sites will share their expertise in planning and operating alternative response programs to deflect or divert individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis away from the criminal justice system with other state PSAPs interested in implementing an alternative response program in their area. They will leverage the existing collaborative strength of Colorado PSAPs, to facilitate the expansion and improvement of alternative response options for 9-1-1 agencies across the state. The success and continuity of the peer learning program will be overseen by the Office of Research and Statistics and Colorado 9-1-1 Resource Center (CO911RC). Agencies operating a PSAP with experience developing and implementing alternative response programs to address 9-1-1 calls for service related to behavioral health crises are encouraged to apply by March 1st, 2024.
This initiative marks a significant stride towards enhancing emergency response services and
effectively addressing behavioral health crises. The collaboration between DCJ, CO911RC, and
other stakeholders reflects a commitment to advancing public safety and well-being for all those who call Colorado home.