ARRIVE Together

ARRIVE Together website

Hunterdon County ARRIVE Together

 

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson and Chief of Detectives Timothy J. Drew announced that New Jersey’s highly regarded ARRIVE Together program, aimed at providing compassionate response during 9-1-1 calls involving a mental health crisis, launched in Hunterdon County on November 1. This initiative is based on the collaborative effort between all Hunterdon County Law Enforcement Agencies, the New Jersey State Police, and the Hunterdon Health Behavioral Health Services to enhance the response and follow-up to behavioral health crisis calls.

The focus of the ARRIVE Together program is to provide individuals in crisis with whatever help they need as quickly and effectively as possible by teaming up a police officer, specifically trained in crisis intervention, with a mental health screener to respond to 9-1-1 calls relating to a mental health crisis. The ARRIVE Together team also follows up on these calls to ensure that the individual is doing well and does not need additional mental health support.

The focused approach supports both the individual facing a mental health crisis and protects the responding officers.  The intention is to provide the person in crisis the proper help they need as quickly as possible, while also preventing escalation and facilitating any necessary de-escalation.

"Alternative Responses to Reduce Instances of Violence & Escalation” (ARRIVE) began in 2021 when the NJ Office of the Attorney General, in consultation with the Department of Human Services, and community stakeholders, paired together law enforcement officers, trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques, with a certified mental health screener and crisis specialist, to respond to 9-1-1 calls involving behavioral health incidents.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is New Jersey’s ARRIVE Together program?

ARRIVE Together (Alternative Responses to Reduce Instances of Violence) is a New Jersey Attorney General initiative for alternative and community responses to mental health emergencies.

 ARRIVE Together began as a co-response program with the New Jersey State Police in Cumberland County in December of 2021 in partnership with the Cumberland County Guidance Center.   That initial program paired a New Jersey State Trooper with a mental health screener in an unmarked vehicle to respond to 9-1-1 calls for mental or behavioral health emergencies.  Since that time, several models began operating throughout the State.  Each community tailors their program to the unique needs, resources, and priorities of the public they serve.

How extensive is the program at this point?

ARRIVE Together currently operates in eleven counties – including Hunterdon.  ARRIVE is expected to operate in all 21 New Jersey Counties by the end of 2023.

How effective is ARRIVE Together?

The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released a report that analyzed data from 342 police calls for service and follow-ups involving the ARRIVE Together program. The analysis took place between December 2021 and January 2023 and showed that 97% of cases did not result in the use of force by police and that 98% of cases did not result in an arrest during a call for service or follow-up. This data was from the Cumberland and Union County pilot programs. Preliminary review shows that the program continues to reduce the likelihood of arrests and injuries.

What’s the total number of responses? 

There have been over 1,300 reported interactions from teams across the state since the program started.

What providers are part of ARRIVE Together?

Healthcare providers statewide have joined in to support ARRIVE so that individuals experiencing mental and behavioral health emergencies may be appropriately diverted away from the criminal justice system and instead toward resources and support in the community.

In Hunterdon County, Hunterdon Healthcare has joined in as a partner with all municipal police departments, the New Jersey State Police, the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office to establish the ARRIVE program.

Is there a particular age group that ARRIVE Together is intended for?

No, ARRIVE Together is for all age groups.  The ARRIVE Together team will respond to calls involving children and adults of all ages. 

What are the key aspects of the Hunterdon County ARRIVE Together Program?

In Hunterdon County, we are utilizing two methods of delivery for the ARRIVE program.

One of the methods is the “Close in Time Follow-up Program”. With this delivery system, a CIT-trained law enforcement officer and a mental health specialist respond to emergency service calls and/or follow-up visits that relate to a behavioral health crisis in separate vehicles. This response may be simultaneous or there may be a short delay in the mental health specialist’s arrival, but generally within 30 minutes of the law enforcement encounter. The mental health specialist’s response may also require staging prior to arrival at the scene with law enforcement. The mental health specialist will provide social and mental health services as appropriate and will arrange for follow-up services as deemed appropriate.

The ”Close in Time Follow-up Program” is currently available Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. These hours were selected based on an analysis of call data, which indicated that this timeframe was when most mental health-related calls were received by the Hunterdon County Communications Center. This delivery method requires that both a mental health specialist and a CIT-trained officer are available to respond to a call for service.

The secondary method being utilized is the “The Follow-up Program”. With this delivery system, law enforcement officers will inform Behavioral Health Services of individuals encountered by law enforcement who may benefit from the services of a mental health specialist within a designated timeframe following the law enforcement interaction. This method relies primarily on a referral system by the law enforcement officers and will be utilized when CIT officers and ARRIVE mental health specialists are not available. This response method is available 24/7. It is important to note that Hunterdon Health mobile outreach specialists are available to respond to mental health emergencies when ARRIVE personnel is not available.

With both programs we aim to provide increased mental health services, resources, and follow-up throughout Hunterdon County.

December 6, 2023

(Sources: BOBBY BRIER, MENTAL HEALTH WRITER | JULY 24, 2023 | HEALTH CARE, SOCIAL)