NJ expanding program pairing cops with mental health pros on calls
⚫ More counties will be partnering cops and mental health professionals
⚫ The ARRIVE Together program aims to de-escalate mental health emergencies
⚫ The governor says ARRIVE Together will soon be used in every county
New Jersey’s ARRIVE Together program, which partners a mental health professional with a law enforcement officer in plain clothes to respond to mental health crisis calls, is expanding.
It was initially launched as a pilot program in Cumberland County in 2021 and in select areas in North Jersey last year, but the program will also begin to be used in more than two dozen municipalities in 10 counties in May.
During a visit to Perth Amboy on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a few weeks “the budget I will send to the Legislature will propose $10 million in funding, that’s a five-fold increase, so we can expand ARRIVE Together to every community up and down the great state of New Jersey.”
It decreases the chance of force being used
He said ARRIVE Together has been a success story because it “substantially increases the chance that a situation can be de-escalated, and substantially decreases the probability that forced will be used.”
New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin said in the past mental health crisis calls that police respond to frequently end up in conflict, with the officer having to use force to restrain an individual, but in areas using ARRIVE Together that has changed.
“We’ve helped hundreds of people, no injuries, no arrests, effectively no use of force, and importantly better and more efficient mental health outcomes,” he said.
The program has been transformative
He said the program “has been a transformative and powerful model, consistently de-escalating situations that could have had far worse outcomes for everyone involved.”
Murphy said the program helps to keep New Jersey safe while “strengthening the bonds between on the one hand members of law enforcement and on the other, the communities they serve.”
The expansion of ARRIVE Together in the spring will be funded by utilizing $2 million set aside by the Governor and state lawmakers in the current 2023 state budget.
It will bring the total number of law enforcement agencies involved in the initiative to over 30. In most areas, mental health professionals will accompany plainclothes officers in unmarked police vehicles to respond to 911 calls for service relating to mental or behavioral health crises.
Nine health care providers have signed on to dedicate their resources to work with police on this effort.
The expansion of ARRIVE Together this spring will include the following Police Departments:
Cape May County
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
Union County Commissioners
Union County Police
Union County Sheriff’s Office
You can view the full list of participating law enforcement leaders and partners in New Jersey here.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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