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City of Boulder's Response to Behavioral Health Crises

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)

Proposal Abstract: City of Boulder’s Response to Behavioral Health Crises  

The devastating Mar. 22, 2021 mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers store has added to the stress of a small city that annually experiences at least 2,349 police calls for service rooted in behavioral health issues. 

The City of Boulder’s proposed Response to Behavioral Health Crises (RBHC) crisis collaboration program is a joint application from the city’s Police Department and Housing and Human Services Department (HHS), including licensed HHS behavioral health clinicians. RBHC will serve approximately 2,349 people that experience behavioral health crisis in the City of Boulder annually. The City of Boulder has a population of 108,250, with approximately 20% of persons in the city living in poverty, including 25% of people between the ages of 16 and 64 years. 

RBHC will greatly expand trauma-informed approaches to residents experiencing behavioral health crisis by building upon the existing Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT), four licensed behavioral health clinicians that respond with police officers to calls involving behavioral health issues. RBHC would develop a city Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program for Boulder Police Department officers, to increase the percentage of CIT-trained patrol officers from 29% to 84%. This internal program, building on the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Crisis Response and Intervention Training Program Curriculum, would help the department to improve training quality and remove barriers caused by limited openings in CIT trainings offered regionally. RBHC would add overtime hours so that officers can be dedicated to ride with CIRT to build officer/clinician relationships for increased coordination and more immediate support for community members in crisis. Finally, RBHC would have statewide and national impact via a CIRT program evaluation, which would fill gaps in co-responder research and create models for other communities. The City of Boulder Police and HHS departments are requesting funding in the amount of $150,000 for RBHC.    

Proposed consultants include: Amber McDonald, PhD, LCSW, principle investigator for program evaluation; and C WORX Training LLC, provider of CIT training.

Date Created: December 7, 2021