MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Boston Police Department’s Co-Response Program was established in 2011 as a collaboration between the BPD and the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) based out of Boston Medical Center. Through this program, BEST Clinicians ride along with BPD Officers, and together, respond to calls involving people experiencing mental health crises. The goal of the program is to provide real time, community-based psychiatric crisis services intended to stabilize nonviolent persons experiencing psychiatric emergencies. Benefits of such a collaborative response include a decreased number of arrests of mentally ill people in crisis, decreased trips to the local emergency departments and reduced time for the officers handling psychiatric emergency situations, thus freeing them to return to calls for service.
The department currently has five BEST Clinicians assigned to various districts across the City of Boston: Lyan Albino (Area A), Lauren Backhaus (Area B), Kimberly Hula-Aono (Area C), Lauren Sneider (District D-4) and Laura Bullis (Area E). We continue to grow this partnership in hopes of benefiting those in our community with the specific care and services required during their time of need.