Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $431,129)
Protect and Connect
Community Counseling Center proposes to utilize the “Protect and Connect” grant to imbed two Behavioral Health Professionals within the Cape Girardeau Police Department for the implementation of a co-responder program. This proposed grant project will promote effective strategies for law enforcement to identify and reduce risk of harm to individuals with behavioral health disorders which is a priority area identified in the grant proposal. The service area will include the jurisdiction of Cape Girardeau Police Department. Residential population is around 40,000 with a daytime working population over 100,000. Southeast Missouri State University, with an annual enrollment of over 10,000 students, is located in Cape Girardeau. Many students live in the city limits but are not considered residents. Cape Girardeau County has a poverty rate 13.8%, the city of Cape Girardeau has a poverty rate of 23.4% which is significantly higher than the MO state average which is 13.2%. Census data indicates the following racial demographics: 79% is Caucasian, 13% is African American, 3% Asian, and 3% Hispanic. The co-responder(s) will respond on scene with police to incidents involving behavioral health situations. The objectives are to “de-criminalize” individuals with behavioral health problems, divert primary responsibility away from the police toward behavioral health professionals, increase more immediate treatment options for individuals with behavioral health problems, and allow police officers more time to focus on law enforcement activities. Other duties include increased connection with social service agencies working with poverty and homeless issues, provide individual counseling and debriefing sessions for officers and department personnel who are exposed to traumatic events and assist officers at scenes of death for purposes of family notification. Measurables for this program will include the number of individuals contacted through co-response or police officer referrals, number of individuals referred to the behavioral healthcare system, number of community outreach activities and number of officer debriefs/counseling supports. Proposed number of individuals the applicant plans to serve: Year 1: 100, Year 2: 250, Year 3: 350. Beneficiaries of this program will include the personnel of the Cape Girardeau Police Department, individuals with behavioral health needs who encounter police, the families of individuals with behavioral health needs, the behavioral health network (mental health providers, substance use providers and providers for developmental disabilities), social service providers, the homeless, and the general public. CCC has not been a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds. The total amount requested is: $431,849.40.