By: Yuritza Arroyo
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan today announced that the New Jersey State Police has won a competitive grant award from the federal government of $549,750 that will fund an expansion of the ARRIVE Together mental health crisis response initiative, currently operating in Cumberland County as well as elsewhere in the State.
According to officials, this grant will supplement legislation signed by Governor Murphy over the summer that appropriated $2 million to expand the ARRIVE Together program into other areas of the State in 2023.
Officials say, the grant, offered through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is titled “Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Program.”
The purpose of the grant program is to support law enforcement-behavioral health cross-system collaboration to improve public health and safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental health disorders and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
The ARRIVE Together program, first piloted by the State Police in Cumberland County in December 2021 in partnership with the Department of Human Services, pairs a trooper with a mental health screener from the Cumberland County Guidance Center in an unmarked vehicle to respond to 9-1-1 calls for service relating to mental or behavioral health crises.
The program expanded to a pilot in Union County in June 2022 run by the Elizabeth and Linden Police Departments and Trinitas Medical Center.
The pilots have served hundreds of individuals in distress who come into contact with law enforcement.
“The ARRIVE Together program has thus far been a tremendous success for our law enforcement officers, our mental health screeners, and most importantly, for the communities that they serve,” said Attorney General Platkin.
“I am thankful for all of our partners, and applaud Colonel Callahan and the State Police for, with the support of the Department of Human Services, applying for and winning these federal grant funds that will expand coverage of this critical program in New Jersey.”
“The Arrive Together initiative has already proven to be an effective tool in assisting law enforcement officers to meet the needs of people who are experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
“This federal grant represents a significant step toward expanding the program to ensure that more New Jersey residents have access to the same resources.”
“This innovative program is about saving lives by bringing together law enforcement and mental health professionals to respond to crisis situations in the most appropriate way to stabilize a situation and help the individual in need,” said New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman.
“The program represents more progress in our ongoing work to improve mental health care services in New Jersey.
We’re appreciative of this important partnership with the Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey State Police, and are committed to supporting its expansion to more communities across the state.”
A portion of the Connect and Protect grant will fund an expansion of the State Police’s ARRIVE Together program in Cumberland County.
The State Police will award the rest of the funds as competitive subgrants, to other law enforcement agencies seeking to establish their own ARRIVE Together program working with mental health providers.
The State Police are accepting applications for the subgrants, as described in the Notices of Availability of Funds (NOAFs) that the State Police are releasing to the public today.