Bucks Co-Responders Program Expands to Three More Police Departments
Two more co-responders began their work with local police departments last month in Bristol Borough, Bristol Township and Tullytown.
The appointments of Fetiye “Tia” Kazee and Keevon Johnson as co-responders brings the services of the Human Services Co-Responders.
Johnson is a friend of this publication and known for his community based efforts in Bristol Township.
“We are so fortunate to partner with police leadership to bring our co-responder initiative to three more communities,” said Rachael Neff, director of the county’s Human Services Division. “Keevon and Tia are excellent additions to our ever-growing Human Services Co-Responder team.”
Bucks County’s Co-Responder effort seeks to divert people in need of social services away from the criminal justice system.
As of late April, the program is now operating in six municipalities, with co-responders also working with police in Bensalem Township, Falls Township and Middletown Township.
The Co Responder effort is paid by the county with Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, and Tullytown agreeing earlier this year to take part for two years.
Kazee and Johnson both start their new positions at a salary of $59,000, officials said.
“We are looking forward to working with the co-responders here in Bristol Borough,” said borough police Chief Joe Moors. “The program will be an asset to our community.”
“Keevon and Tia are highly qualified for these positions, and we are thrilled to have them on the team,” said Bristol Township police Lt. Ralph Johnson. “There is maximum potential for success as we move forward with this addition to our policing toolbox.”
Co-responders work in collaboration with agencies in the county’s criminal justice system, like police and prosecutors, as well as social services agencies that assist with issues related to aging, substance abuse and mental health.
At Monday night’s Bristol Borough Council meeting, Moors said the Police Department has already made referrals to Co-Responder’s for follow up.
In that year, the co-responders had assisted 212 people and made referrals to 77 agencies. The county launched the co-responder program in December 2020 with its pilot initiative in Bensalem, county officials said.
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