City of Durango Homepage link
News Flash Home
The original item was published from 2/12/2021 6:50:06 PM to 3/2/2021 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: February 12, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Police, behavioral health co-responder program set to launch in March

Police News Release image

The city of Durango and Axis Health System (AHS) are putting the finishing touches on a program that allows a Durango police officer and behavior health specialist to jointly respond to calls.

The model offers a more comprehensive approach to complex situations involving a behavioral health component. Co-responder teams respond to mental health calls that meet specific criteria with the goal of assessing individuals’ social needs and linking them to appropriate behavioral health resources.

“Our officers are spending more time helping people with social and emotional needs,” Chief of Police Bob Brammer said. “To respond differently, we need different capacity. This program provides that.” 

A behavioral health specialist and law enforcement officer team are currently training as a team. AHS is hiring additional behavioral health professionals for the program, which is funded by the city and AHS. Co-responder teams will respond to calls within Durango city limits during certain days and times.

“We expect to go live with the program by the beginning of March,” Brammer said. “Until then, we are training and learning, making an effort and impacting the community as we grow.”

The Durango Police Department has worked closely with AHS and the 911 Communications Center in connecting with other agencies to learn about best practices for launching co-responder programs. 

Co-responder programs in other parts of the U.S. and Colorado have demonstrated improved interactions between law enforcement and people they serve while helping reduce stigma associated with asking for help. Benefits include: 

  • More individuals connected to appropriate services instead of being arrested, put in mental health holds or emergency transports.

  • Community members having more trust in law enforcement. Individuals who interact with co-responder teams are more likely to accept help and follow through on key referrals from the team.
  • Improved referral capacity from 911 dispatch. Since co-responder teams cannot respond to every call, robust referral protocols based on field experience assist law enforcement in better assisting community members in need of behavioral health or other services.

  • Connection to resources and follow-up. Once legal consequences are ruled out, co-responders can assist individuals in a variety of ways, including connections to resources, transport to a hospital or clinic or support for family members and others on-scene.  

“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with the city and Durango police in offering this new pilot program in Durango,” Shelly Burke, CEO of Axis Health System said. “Nationally, there is a recognition that a portion of the calls for law enforcement response involve causes or symptoms that are outside of the expertise or resources of most police departments.” 

“Community Mental Health Center staff increase the range of response options that can be offered when additional social or behavioral health services may be appropriate. We feel the co-responder program can build a better bridge between social and health needs that may be part of certain emergency 911 calls.” 

For more information about AHS, visit


View Full News Release
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in City of Durango News Flash

Jennifer Rivera 911

911 dispatcher assists in two births

Posted on: February 21, 2024
Phone Outage 518x518

UPDATE: 911 phone service back to normal

Posted on: February 7, 2024
connect and engage forum

Engage Durango public forum

Posted on: January 23, 2024

Celebrate Winter Bike to Work Day

Posted on: January 18, 2024

Durango sees uptick in counterfeit bills

Posted on: January 16, 2024
Smoke visible downtown from controlled burn by federal agencies

Smoke in area from controlled burns

Posted on: January 10, 2024
Snow Routes sign

Snow routes in effect for Durango

Posted on: January 7, 2024
Mattehw Margeson

City swears in new Municipal Court judge

Posted on: December 20, 2023

City of Durango Christmas holiday schedule

Posted on: December 18, 2023
Xmas Trees

Christmas tree drop-off and recycling

Posted on: December 13, 2023

City website gets a fresh coat of paint

Posted on: December 9, 2023
city hall

Council adopts 2024 budget

Posted on: December 5, 2023
city hall

Council to vote on 2024 budget

Posted on: December 1, 2023
Snow Removal Durango Central District

Snow Removal in Downtown Durango tonight

Posted on: November 30, 2023
Engage Forum 11-28

Engage Durango public forum

Posted on: November 15, 2023
veterans day image with flag

City of Durango Veterans Day schedule

Posted on: November 3, 2023
city hall

Council to review community survey

Posted on: November 3, 2023

Free woodchips available

Posted on: October 26, 2023
Call of Artists

A call for artists

Posted on: October 20, 2023
Street Name

Help the city name a street

Posted on: October 6, 2023
2023 Multimodal Safe Routes to School

Bicycle events for area students planned

Posted on: September 25, 2023

Street painting on Main begins Monday

Posted on: September 22, 2023
Call to Artists

A Call to Artists

Posted on: December 29, 2022

Slash piles to burn in Dalla Mountain Park

Posted on: December 14, 2022
Government Websites by CivicPlus®
Arrow Left Arrow Right
Slideshow Left Arrow Slideshow Right Arrow