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Mental Health Co-Responder Joins Fort Collins Police

Released on Wednesday, September 12, 2018
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Fort Collins Police Services now has a Mental Health Co-Responder who will deploy with officers to connect people in crisis with community resources.

FCPS assists an increasing number of community members who have mental health disorders, as well as their families who are concerned about them. The Mental Health Co-Responder position was created with the goals of increasing the safety of these residents and officers who encounter them, and to help families and those in crisis access appropriate services. This is one element of the agency’s comprehensive Mental Disorders Response Program.

The new Mental Health Co-Responder, Stephanie Booco, is a licensed professional counselor and licensed addiction counselor with experience in forensic psychology and counseling. Booco has worked in jails, emergency departments, community clinics, and private agencies, primarily serving justice-involved individuals with substance use and mental health concerns. Her specialties include trauma, substance use, crisis assessment, and forensics. Booco will assist officers and dispatchers working with people in crisis to foster the safety of all parties, reduce the frequency of interactions with law enforcement, reduce repeated unnecessary trips to the emergency room, and help individuals get the most appropriate treatment services.

“People may call the police for help, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an officer is the best person to provide services,” said FCPS Chief Jeff Swoboda. “Stephanie will be able to help individuals and families in crisis make a plan and get the assistance they need. We believe this forward-thinking approach will reduce repeated law enforcement contacts and criminal offenses stemming from mental health and substance use issues.”

The Mental Health Co-Responder position is jointly funded by Fort Collins Police Services, SummitStone Health Partners, and UCHealth.