CoRE Crisis Outreach exceeds expectations
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township Captain James Gallagher introduced new mental health care worker Hillary Nusbaum to the board of trustees at their meeting on Monday, March 14, and provided an update of the Co-Response (CoRE) Crisis Outreach Program, a partnership between Bloomfield Township, Birmingham and Auburn Hills police departments and Oakland Community Health Network.
Gallagher said in the six months since Nusbaum has begun working with the three police departments, “We couldn't ask for better partnerships… I can't say anything negative about this.”
The program is a partnership between law enforcement and mental health professionals to better serve people with mental health issues in the three communities. The program received a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan to help it launch in September, with its primary hours Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Gallagher said Nusbaum, who has a family history with law enforcement as her father was a director of public safety in Coldwater, has a masters degree and previously worked in Rochester Public Schools. She works with officers in the field, and “if there's a major crisis, she responds. Before, we had very, very little training if someone had an incident, other than to take them to jail.
“The training she provides for us or the family, the resources for the family, or to take the person to the hospital for an involuntary hold, is very helpful,” he noted. “Officers are becoming more comfortable with the program.”
He said she has been helping officers and other staff internally in the department as well, after difficult calls and incidents, such as the Oxford shooting, and “we were able to loan her to Oxford.”
Gallagher said between October 1 and December 31, she worked with 132 referrals from all three police agencies; there were 47 referrals from Bloomfield Township police. Referrals came from dispatch or from officers, he said.
Since October, they have been training officers in the CoRE program, to recognize when someone is having mental health issues, at least one per shift.
Gallagher said several other police agencies are now requesting to participate in the CoRE Crisis Outreach Program, recognizing their success.