Douglas County Commissioners focused on increasing citizen safety as they approved expanding the Community Response Team program on Jan. 24.
In the only unanimous vote of the meeting, commissioners approved the contract with the Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Behavioral Health for the Multidisciplinary Crime Prevention and Crisis Intervention Grant to fund three law enforcement officer positions to staff new community response teams at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Castle Rock Police Department and the Parker Police Department. The expanded program will cost $520,740.
According to staff representative Maggie Cooper, the goal of the Multidisciplinary Crime Prevention and Crisis Intervention Grant Program is to support and provide community-based multidisciplinary approaches to crisis intervention strategies and crime prevention.
The grant will allow the Community Response Team to grow from six to nine teams. The expansion will include seven community teams and two additional teams focused on youths seven days a week.
Part of the Mental Health Initiative, the Community Response Teams are co-response teams that pair law enforcement with mental health clinicians to go out into the community to assist those that are in crisis.
The grant will also provide an increased wellness benefit for clinical staff and a supportive parenting group for parents of children served by the community response teams.
The teams will provide specialized training for clinical staff to serve Douglas County high needs populations including LGBTQ youth, the elderly and parents.
In other business
The commissioners voted 2-1 to approve Sterling Ranch LLC, Sterling Ranch Community Authority Board and Dominion Water and Sanitation District’s request to extend the deadline for the subdivision improvement and intergovernmental agreements to start various park construction on July 1, 2024.
A motion was made by Commissioner George Teal and second by Lora Thomas. Abe Laydon and Teal vote for the approval. Thomas voted against the measure.
Commissioners questioned how desired changes to the community were captured and the need for a reservation system.
In addition, commissioners voted 2-1 to approve a funding agreement between Douglas County and the STEM School of Highlands Ranch. STEM School of Highlands Ranch requested $961,504 from Douglas County’s innovative fund to increase safety at school. Details of the innovation project remain confidential.
The Innovation Funding Agreement was approved as Laydon and Teal voted in favor of the agreement. Thomas voted against the agreement.
Representatives from STEM School of Highlands Ranch spoke about what steps they have taken in the process to implement innovative technology and the support they have received for the project.
Commissioners questioned and discussed the effectiveness of the technology.
In another 2-1 vote, commissioners appointed Stephen Allen to the Douglas County Planning Commission.