FDLPD Co-Response Team

FDLPD’s Co-Response program was established in June 2022 to embed a mental health clinician within our police department to respond collaboratively with a Mental Health & Wellness Police Specialist to individuals in crisis to provide screenings, assessments, and connections to appropriate resources ultimately reducing arrests, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.

For decades, the FDLPD has been a key first responder in mental health and/or substance use disorder emergencies in our community. Chief Aaron Goldstein said, “We recognize that police response to non-criminal calls for service involving individuals experiencing some type of mental health crisis and/or substance use disorder are matters of health care and should be met with more of a health response, not a criminal justice response.”

The City collaborated with the Fond du Lac County Department of Human Services under an interlocal agreement to provide a full-time social work clinician to FDLPD. Goldstein said, “We placed an emphasis on enhancing our crisis response and embedded a social worker within our Department to establish a better response to community members in crisis or living with mental health illnesses and/or disorders and in need of resources and support.”

FDLPD created a Co-Response Team consisting of a Community Response Social Worker and Mental Health & Wellness Police Specialist. The Co-Response Team aims to improve the experiences and outcomes of individuals in crisis by providing effective crisis de-escalation, diversion from the criminal justice system, and connection to appropriate behavioral health services.

The Co-Response Team provides assessment/evaluation by a licensed clinician and early intervention to individuals while they are experiencing an acute behavioral health crisis directly in the community. The Co-Response Team is available to respond to and answer questions about mental health and to provide referrals and support for individuals and families who are faced with mental health and/or substance use disorder. The Co-Response Team strives to help individuals avoid a crisis and will support individuals after crisis.

Co-Response Team Goals:

  • Provide for a more immediate response and linkage to behavioral health services/treatment for an individual in a behavioral health crisis.
  • Support ongoing coordination of emergency response, hospital and mental health crisis response systems to improve outcomes for individuals in crisis.
  • Reduce the number of individuals taken into custody through emergency detentions.
  • Reduce occurrence of high utilizer and repeat calls for service.
  • Connect individuals to community programs, stabilization services and social supports.
  • Provide positive police interaction for individuals living with mental illness.
  • Divert individuals in behavioral health crisis from entering the criminal justice system and emergency department admissions.

FDLPD wants to remind our community that help is available and we ask anyone who knows of someone struggling and possibly may be in crisis to reach out so that we can connect that person to the resources they need.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are many services and support available to you whether you need someone to talk to, you need someone to respond, or you need a place to go.

If you are in imminent danger or experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1.  If you are having thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, call the Fond du Lac County Crisis Line at 920-929-3535 or 9-8-8 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.  The Fond du Lac County Crisis Line and 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provide free and confidential support for anyone experiencing a suicidal, mental health, and/or substance use crisis.

To reach out to the FDLPD Co-Response Team call the Fond du Lac County Communications Center non-emergency line at 920-906-5555.

Co-Response Team:

Our Community Response Social Worker is Kimberly Miller, MSW, LCSW, SAC-IT. Kimberly comes to us with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from MPTC, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Oshkosh, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (with a clinical mental health and substance use disorder counseling emphasis) from UW-Milwaukee. Kimberly is credentialed by the State as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Our Mental Health & Wellness Police Specialist is Brooke Mathes. Officer Mathes started with FDLPD as a Police Explorer in 2012 and in 2016 she was hired as a Community Service Officer. In 2018 Brooke completed her Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from FVTC and in 2019 became a sworn FDLPD Officer. Prior to being selected as the Department’s first Mental Health & Wellness Police Specialist, Officer Mathes was on the Domestic Violence Intervention Team and still is a member of the Peer Support Program and Co-Advisor for the Fond du Lac Police Explorer Post #9647.

More Resources Link: https://www.fdlco.wi.gov/departments/departments-f-m/human-services/services-and-programs/crisis-intervention-services