U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Rapid City Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Collaborative Crisis Response Team

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $550,000)

In Pennington County and Rapid City the sense of urgency around change is, in large part, driven by law enforcement who are confronted with the challenges of people living with behavioral and mental health needs:

•           2020 Suicide Calls 1140

•           2020 Mental Health Calls 912

•           2019 Suicide Calls 1069

•           2019 Mental Health Calls 527

Rapid City has a population of 77,500, which is the largest community located in western South Dakota. There is an absence of mental health and behavioral health services outside of Rapid City within a 200 mile radius this causes the community to be a regional provider of human services. The region has significant substance abuse and behavioral health issues impacting the community, especially the Native American population. In this region, high rates of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, victimization and suicide are caused, in large part, by socioeconomic inequalities and historical trauma experienced by multiple generations of Native Americans. To address the high rates of trauma and crisis in Rapid City, trust barriers must be addressed, and healing has to occur through collaborative responses to a multitude of issues impacting the community.

        The solicitation funding will be utilized to build a point-of-intervention crisis response model. We intend to hire a project coordinator to lead the initiative, as well as hire behavioral/mental health specialist and clinicians to embed directly with first responders. The community is currently engaged in creating a multi-disciplinary team approach to respond to individuals in crisis and is based on community-wide CIT modeling for training and responses. The community intends to create a continuum of care from the point of intervention on the street to higher levels of services that are outside of the criminal justice system.

        The key stakeholders who have committed to this initiative are the Rapid City Police and Fire Departments, Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board (GPTLHB), Pennington County Health and Human Services (PCHHS), Pennington County Dispatch (PCD), Pennington County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), and Behavior Management Systems (BMS). The RCPD and stakeholders are working on a strategic planning process to build our CIT committee and co-response team programming, which will create a continuum of care framework for the community to response to crisis. We will contract a behavioral health specialist from GPTLHB and a QMHP from BMS to implement case management along with street level support. The City of Rapid City nor any community partners have been recipients of JMHCP funding.

Date Created: December 16, 2021