The ARRIVE (Alternative Responses to Reduce Instances of Violence & Escalation) Together program, introduced by the New Jersey State Police, recognizes the importance of addressing mental health concerns with compassion, understanding, and specialized expertise. The initiative seeks to help police de-escalate situations, provide immediate support to individuals in crisis, and ensure the safety of both the community and the responding officers.
The goal of the ARRIVE Together program is to provide individuals in crisis with whatever help they need as quickly and effectively as possible by teaming up a police officer, specifically trained in crisis intervention, with a mental health screener to respond to 9-1-1 calls relating to a mental health crisis. The ARRIVE Together team also follows up on these calls to ensure that the individual is doing well and does not need additional mental health support. This focused approach supports both the individual facing a mental health crisis and protects the responding officers responding to calls for service with individuals suffering from a mental health episode.
ARRIVE Together Morris County “M-Towns”
The Police Departments of Madison, Morristown, Morris Township, and Morris Plains have partnered to create Morris County’s regional pilot program “M-Towns”, coordinated through the Morris County Prosecutors Office. Funding for the programming is being provided through a statewide grant.
A partnership with the Mental Health Association of Morris & Essex County; the M-Towns will deploy the Close Follow-up response program. With this delivery system, a CIT-trained law enforcement officer (when available) and a mental health specialist respond to emergency service calls and/or follow-up visits that relate to a behavioral health crisis in separate vehicles. This response may be simultaneous or there may be a short delay in the mental health specialist’s arrival, but generally within 30 minutes of the law enforcement encounter. The mental health specialist’s response may also require staging before arrival at the scene with law enforcement. The mental health specialist will provide social and mental health services as appropriate and will arrange for follow-up services as deemed appropriate.
The program is operational Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 3 PM. The mental health specialist will be stationed at each of the M-Town police departments on a daily rotating basis.
History of the Program in New Jersey
ARRIVE Together began as a co-response program with the New Jersey State Police in Cumberland County in December of 2021 in partnership with the Cumberland County Guidance Center. That initial program paired a New Jersey State Trooper with a mental health screener in an unmarked vehicle to respond to 9-1-1 calls for mental or behavioral health emergencies. Since that time, several models began operating throughout the State. Each County and/or Community tailors their program to the unique needs, resources, and priorities of the public they serve.
How effective is ARRIVE Together?
The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released a report that analyzed data from 342 police calls for service and follow-ups involving the ARRIVE Together program. The analysis took place between December 2021 and January 2023 and showed that 97% of cases did not result in the use of force by police and that 98% of cases did not result in an arrest during a call for service or follow-up. This data was from the Cumberland and Union County pilot programs. Preliminary review shows that the program continues to reduce the likelihood of arrests and injuries.
How extensive is the program at this point?
ARRIVE Together currently operates in all 21 New Jersey Counties. Expansion in Morris County has already started to include Parsippany, Montville Township, Denville Township, and Roxbury Township known as the “Core-4”.