Murphy to include $10M in budget to create 1st statewide law enforcement-mental health collaboration 

Gov. Phil Murphy plans to allocate $10 million in funding in the 2024 budget to expand the ARRIVE Together program to the entire state — creating the first statewide law enforcement and mental health co-responder collaboration in the country.

Additionally, starting in May 2023, the program will utilize $2 million in funds set aside in the current Fiscal Year 2023 state budget to allow over two dozen municipalities in 10 different counties to join. The program connects mental health professionals with law enforcement officers to more effectively respond to mental-health crisis calls.

“The ARRIVE Together program is a game changer, and I am incredibly pleased by the success the program has had during its pilot stages in connecting those experiencing behavioral health crises with a certified mental health professional,” Murphy said.

“ARRIVE Together began as a State Police pilot program, and, through partnerships forged between law enforcement and mental health providers, we are building it into a statewide program,” Attorney General Matthew Platkin said. “It has been a transformative and powerful model, consistently deescalating situations that could have had far worse outcomes for everyone involved.  With the support and vision of Gov. Murphy, I am committed to continuing to grow this program and improve services for our most vulnerable residents.”

That expansion will bring the total number of law enforcement agencies involved in the initiative to over 30. In most jurisdictions, mental health professionals will accompany plainclothes officers in unmarked police vehicles to respond to 911 calls for service relating to mental or behavioral health crises, although each county may employ a slightly different framework of interaction between the mental health and law enforcement responders.

Nine different health care providers around the state have signed on to dedicate their resources to work with police on this effort, which is designed to form relationships between individuals needing help and law enforcement and mental health professionals, in order to deescalate situations and transition away from law enforcement relying on emergency rooms or use of force.

In addition, in 2022, the New Jersey State Police won a federal “Connect and Protect” grant for approximately $550,000 to expand the ARRIVE Together program. Platkin recently announced the agencies being awarded subgrants from that money to bring the initiative to their jurisdictions.

With today’s expansion, police officers from the following municipalities and agencies will be participating in the program:

  • Atlantic County: Atlantic City;
  • Camden County: Clementon, Gibbsboro, Lindenwold, Pine Hill and Voorhees;
  • Cape May County: Lower Township and Middle Township;
  • Cumberland County: Bridgeton, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Millville and Vineland;
  • Essex County: Bloomfield, East Orange, Orange;
  • Hudson County: Bayonne and Hudson County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Mercer County: Ewing and Hamilton;
  • Middlesex County: Edison, Highland Park and Woodbridge;
  • Ocean County: Beachwood, Berkeley, Ocean Gate and Pine Beach;
  • Union County: Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Union County Commissioners, Union County Police, Union County Sheriff’s Office and Westfield.