A newly-created law enforcement and mental health co-response team called the Crisis Alternative Response and Engagement, or CARE Team is being unveiled for Tompkins County.
Tompkins County Whole Health and the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department recently announced the team, which will be piloted this year with funding for a Licensed Clinical Therapist and Sheriff’s deputy dedicated to the endeavor. Currently the initiative will be piloted in Tompkins County outside the City of Ithaca while work continues to determine programming to cover the City’s jurisdiction.
CARE team members will be dispatched either directly following a 911 call for service or after another police officer on-scene has determined a mental or behavioral health problem is ongoing. The goal of CARE is to divert individuals from the criminal justice system and to avoid unnecessary hospitalization whenever possible.