Skip to main content

Co-Responder Program

What is the Co-Responder Unit?

Co-responder and officer stand side-by-side.

Illinois State University Police is collaborating with the Center for Human Services to pair a police officer with a crisis worker to respond to calls involving individuals in mental health crisis or social issues. The goals are to improve the quality of care for those in crisis resolve mental health situations as efficiently and as compassionately as possible, expedite treatment, mitigate unnecessary incarcerations and hospitalizations, and refer those in crisis to appropriate resources for continuity of after-care services.

How does it work?

Traditionally calls for individuals in mental health crisis have come to police departments to handle through 911 systems. With the Illinois State University co-responder unit:

Co-responder sits at desk while typing on computer.
  • Calls will come from 911 dispatch, as well as referrals from non-emergency calls
  • The paired officer will safely transport the crisis worker to the individual and ensure the scene is safe
  • If it is safe, the crisis worker takes the lead to gather information, develop a clinical assessment, and work with the individual to develop a plan which may include:
    • Transportation to an appropriate care facility
    • Resource referral to community agencies
    • Therapeutic listening and conversation
    • Documentation to ensure follow-up with a case worker and wrap around services