PEORIA, Ill. – With funding secured for a co-responder program to focus on behavioral health and social service coordination with violence survivors, state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, will highlight efforts to get the program running in Peoria with Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria, Peoria City/County Health Department Public Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson and other community leaders at a press conference scheduled for Friday.
The press conference will take place Friday, Aug. 4 at 1 p.m. at the downtown Peoria Police Station lobby located at 600 SW Adams St.
“If we want to address public safety in our community comprehensively and compassionately, we need to take a modern and responsible approach that invests in evidence-based services that can produce better outcomes,” Gordon-Booth said. “Further utilizing professionals who have specialized skillsets instead of forcing law enforcement to deal with issues they may be unsuited for is going to have a significant impact.”
“As mental health needs in our community have grown, oftentimes, the brunt of the response falls upon our law enforcement peers,” Hendrickson said. “The co-response program supports utilizing training and appropriate resources to assist community members, both during a crisis and non-critical periods. The goal is to provide individuals with the best support and helping build a thriving and healthy Peoria.”
Gordon-Booth spearheaded the work to secure $3 million in this year’s state budget to support a pilot co-responder program in Peoria, building on her efforts last year (House Bill 4736) to authorize the initiative. The co-responder program aims to support behavioral health efforts while coordinating social services with violence survivors – including trauma-informed crisis intervention, assistance with finding safe housing, victim advocacy and counseling.
For more information, please contact RepJGordon@gmail.com.