Denver: Support Team Assisted Response (STAR)
- City: Denver, Colorado
- Population Size: 727,211
- Jurisdiction Size (Sq Miles): 154.9 sq miles
- 0- STAR
- 1- Co-Responder Team
CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) Requirements
- All officers are CIT trained as part of the academy training. Looking at a second-tier class for people who want to learn now.
- Area of Jurisdiction
- Co-Responder teams are city-wide, including Denver Police Department, Denver Sheriff’s, Denver Fire, Regional Transportation District (RTD), and Auraria Campus Police
- STAR pilot is in Downtown districts
- Staffing Structure
- Teams of 1 licensed LSW practitioner and 1 paramedic
- Co-Responder team of 36 people
- STAR is a partnership with paramedics who are volunteering
- 1 van M-F 10AM -6PM
- 4 case managers are associated with the team. Can tag in a case manager, so they can lower barriers to their treatment. They have more time to work with the person and can do follow-up for a few days.
- Staff Training/Qualifications
- A paramedic might be overkill, an EMT or EMT B might be enough
- Need a licensed person to be able to put people on holds and call an ambulance without having to call police in that situation.
- All clinical staff are LCSW/LPC and may also have LAC.
- Dispatch Structure
- 911 center uses the CAHOOTS decision tree
- Training on lingo
- Direct line of communication
- Co-responders are 911
- STAR has a separate phone number if people want to call them specifically
- They are talking about having a clinical presence at 911, right now it is just them understanding what STAR does
- STAR Is a pilot program that began in June 2020
- Responses to 911 calls that have to do with substance abuse, mental health crises or people who just need help connecting to services
- Most calls can be dealt with on site, occasionally provide MH transportation to hospital
- Would like to have connection points to all the communities by having representation from each area to make it a more community-based initiative.
- Co-responders are part of the culture of policing and dealing with MH.
- STAR will pick up needles, but needle exchange mostly does that. They go on calls for people who missed methadone treatment. Pretty harm-reduction focused philosophy.
- Denver has an elaborate crisis center, so they can bring people there who do not need to be hospitalized (24/7)
- Solution center: opening in 3 months. 3 floors for different lengths of stay. 16 beds first floor (24 hours), 32-second floor (7 days), 50 3rd floor (45 days)
- Funding Mechanisms
- 68% goes towards Medicaid for co-responder, might be a little higher for STAR. City picks up the cost for the rest
- Caring for Denver passed in November (sales tax for mental health initiatives/planning) put police-specific behavioral health in budget.
- MOU with PD
- Liability is included in contract with Denver
- Management Structure
- Co-Responder, STAR, Victim response are all civilian staffed
- Non-Profit employees from the crisis service center
- Sometimes attend police role calls, but other than that PD has no oversight
- Currently have 1 van
- Wear bulletproof vests under clothes
Data Systems & Collection
- Data Collection:
- MHCD collects data
- Police collect data
- Highlighted Statistics/Outcomes:
- 150 calls for the first month. (Started in June 2020)
- Co-Responder team and STAR team are both beneficial and work well together.