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After Glass settlement, Clear Creek County launches co-responder program

The program was a condition of a $19 million settlement reached with the Glass family after a former Clear Creek County deputy shot and killed their son in 2022.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — Clear Creek County launched its new mental health crisis co-responder program on Monday, following a record-setting settlement for the police shooting of Christian Glass. 

The Clear Creek Health Assistance Team will focus on certain 911 calls like psychiatric calls, suicidal persons, Safe 2 Tell and welfare checks. The CCHAT will also provide outreach to people with a known history with law enforcement or EMS, those with co-occurring disorders, and areas where people need support connecting with services and resource navigation, the county said in a release.

Clear Creek County said the program will begin with two providers, a community paramedic and a licensed crisis clinician, who will work 40 hours a week.

When the CCHAT is not staffed but a call comes in, the county said the Jefferson Center for Mental Health will fill in. The release said Clear Creek EMS will oversee the CCHAT, which will be housed at Station 1A in Dumont.

“This is a very exciting partnership with multiple entities that will do a lot of good for the community,” Clear Creek Health Assistance Team Director Clark Church said in the release. “I want people in the community to know that we are there to help you when you need it most, and there is no shame in asking for help.” 

The county said its goal is to reduce arrests and contact with law enforcement for those experiencing nonviolent crises, as well as reducing ER visits, connecting at-risk community members with services, and reducing costs. 

The county was required to create a co-responder program by January 2025. It was a condition of the $19 million settlement reached with the Glass family for shooting and killing their son, Christian, in June 2022.

The settlement also requires all current Clear Creek County patrol officers to be certified in crisis intervention by the start of 2027.

Two years before the death of Christian Glass, a Grand Jury had recommended more mental health resources in the county following a different police shooting in 2020. The Clear Creek Sheriff's Office ignored those recommendations.

"I can see where that would work, maybe in a bigger city where they have more calls," Former Sheriff Rick Albers had said in a meeting with county commissioners. "I don't think there's a supply and demand enough to have a 24/7 crisis intervention team at this point in Clear Creek County. They'd be doing a lot of sitting around."

Clear Creek EMS is looking for members of the community to serve on the CCHAT Resource Committee, which will discuss current operations and barriers to care for the new team.

The county is also holding a Town Hall forum Sep. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board of County Commissioners meeting room. During the forum, residents can learn and ask questions about CCHAT and the county budget.

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