Fort Collins Police Services collaborated with University of Colorado Health to launch a behavioral health co-responder program about two years ago. The program pairs a licensed therapist with patrol officers when they respond to people in a mental health or substance abuse crisis. Recently, a community paramedic has been added to the team to help with other medical issues that can impact behavior. The goal is to provide the appropriate level of care for people who might otherwise end up in jail or the hospital unnecessarily. In about 80 percent of the cases they respond to, the therapist and paramedic treat or provide resources to people in their homes instead of police arresting them or taking them to the hospital.

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