Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $749,000)
New Castle County Division of Police (NCCPD) is the lead applicant applying under Byrne Discretionary Community Project Grants/Byrne Discretionary Grants Program (Grants.gov Opportunity Number O-BJA-2022-171241) in the amount of $749,000.
The priority of this funding will be to expand upon the current Hero Help Addiction and Behavioral Health Unit (BHU). This expansion will increase effectiveness and efficiency to provide improved response and access to the communities’ mental health and substance use resources. The target population is any person within New Castle County, Delaware who has been diagnosed as having a Mental Illness or Combined Mental Illness Substance Abuse (MI or CMISA) disorder or obviously manifests those characteristics during arrest, confinement or before any court.
First, the expansion for the Hero Help Addiction Unit will include improving outreach to individuals dealing with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The Bureau of Justice Assistance has hosted multiple webinars highlighting the effectiveness of peers in conducting successful outreach and connection to care for SUD. The ability to relate to situations experienced only by those who have gone through SUD enables peers to connect to potential program participants in a way that can break down barriers to treatment. A peer advocate and peer case manager combined with our nurse and an officer would bring a multidisciplinary approach that would inevitably increase the chances for a person to enter treatment and the Hero Help Program. Using a peer outreach specialist, a peer case manager and increased outreach the unit intends to increase enrollment into the program by 20%.
The second proposed expansion is to create a third co-responder team within the Mental Health Unit. An examination of the captured data has shown that most of the co-responder units’ time is dedicated to conducting follow ups for referrals and repeat calls for service. A large percentage of these repeat calls for service are already connected to care through an established provider. By having a third licensed clinician teamed up with a CIT trained officer it would enable one team to conduct referral follow ups and work with providers to problem solve. The unit would look to reduce these repeat calls for service for individuals connected to care through a standardized method of police response and subsequent provider training. This additional team would also allow the current two teams to focus on 911 calls for service that are crisis driven and we would look to increase 911 crisis response by 20%.
As a result of this expansion the BHU would be able to provide mentoring assistance to local agencies seeking to provide similar healthcare/public safety partnerships.