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Cape Girardeau Police Take Over Co-Responder Program From Community Counseling Center – KBSI Fox 23 Cape Girardeau News

Cape Girardeau Police Take Over Co-Responder Program From Community Counseling Center – KBSI Fox 23 Cape Girardeau News

Cape Girardeau Police Department
Cape Girardeau Police Department

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The Cape Girardeau Police Department is taking over the operations and responsibility of the Co-Responder Program currently run by the Community Counseling Center.

In January 2022, the Community Counseling Center received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Thanks to the Connect and Protect grant, CCC was able to partner with the Cape Girardeau Police Department to deploy two mental health professionals to the police department as co-responders to assist in responding to potential mental health reports.

In January 2023, CCC hired two colleagues who immediately joined the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Both CCC and the police department recognized the benefits of these positions, and leaders of both groups began discussing sustainability last year.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department expressed interest in taking over the implementation of the program and the deployment of the two co-respondents.

The police department has secured funding for the responder positions for the 2025 budget year, which begins July 1.

From July 23, the police will take over full implementation and responsibility of the program.

“The success of our joint co-responder program is something to celebrate,” said Cape Girardeau Police Chief Wes Blair. “Working together, we have significantly improved crisis intervention and mental health services within the community. This partnership has improved public safety and well-being, demonstrating the positive impact of integrated law enforcement and mental health services.”

“CCC is proud to have been able to provide this service to the community, which has yielded positive results,” said Wendy Ice, CEO of Community Counseling Center. “We are also proud to have partnered with the Cape Girardeau Police Department on this endeavor and appreciate their willingness and dedication to addressing the behavioral health needs of the community, as evidenced by their commitment to keeping the Co-Responder Unit fully operational. We wish them nothing but continued success.”

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