Funding for mental health co-responder program

How much funding goes to programs like the mental health co-responders? Could more resources be shifted to that and other community oriented programs?

Littleton Police Chief Doug StephensChief Douglas Stephens: Great question, and I think that’s also a very timely topic across the nation. You’re seeing a lot more awareness of these types of situations with that commingled with law enforcement. So our co-responder program has been expanded recently with the support of city council and in this budget cycle for 2020, we doubled the number of hours that our-co responders were on the street with us, thanks to that funding by council. We had also obtained a state grant that helped provide some of the funding for that program. We continually evaluate that program to see what we can do and what our needs are there, whether it requires expansion or not and whether that’s at this time or in the future. We’ll continue to look at that. Then I think that you’re going to see, as I talked about several different times tonight, that there may be offshoots of that type of program that could involve other types of social services, and we may see some of that as well.

So funding, there’s always some competition there for funds, but I know that our council has and our city manager has been very supportive. Our community is supportive of that. We’ve always received the funding that we’ve needed to expand. These programs are very valuable. I think everybody sees the importance of these programs, and we’ll continue to evaluate them.