Sheriff’s Office Launches New Behavioral Health Connect Program (BHCON)
On Sunday, July 1, 2018, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will deploy an inaugural co-responder, patrol unit called the Behavioral Health Connect Unit or BHCON (pronounced Beacon). It was previously named Project CURB. The BHCON unit pairs an El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy with a Licensed Behavioral Health Clinician from UCHealth's Memorial Hospital to respond to emergency calls determined to have a behavioral health issue as a primary driver.
The BHCON program is fully funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and will be a five-year pilot comprised of a partnership between the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the El Paso County Department of Health and UCHealth. The unit will be assigned to unincorporated regions of El Paso County.
The goals of the BHCON unit are to:
• Prevent unnecessary incarceration and/or hospitalization of mentally ill individuals
• Promote alternate care in the least restrictive environment through a coordinated system wide approach
• Prevent duplication of mental health services
• Facilitate the return of law enforcement units to patrol activities
• Provide increased training to deputies on improved law enforcement responses to behavioral health calls
• Promote an information campaign for families, friends, neighbors and communities about the Sheriff’s commitment to providing a consolidated response to our citizens in crisis and the resources available
• Provide not only response, but follow-up, to insure a continuum of care and access to resources
"Addressing mental health issues is a priority for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Mental health issues affect every aspect of law enforcement from encounters on the street through to incarceration. I am committed to making sure our workforce is well prepared to respond and deal with this segment of our population."
~Sheriff Bill Elder