NEWARK — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that the ARRIVE Together (ARRIVE) program is up and running in the state’s largest city: Newark has joined the growing list of municipalities piloting versions of the Attorney General’s expanding initiative to provide greater medical resources to residents experiencing mental and behavior health emergencies.
The announcement of Newark’s rollout follows a $10 million investment in the 2024 state budget by Governor Murphy and the Legislature to further expand ARRIVE across New Jersey, in hopes of becoming the first statewide law enforcement and mental health public safety collaboration in the country.
Previously, in the FY2023 state budget, $2 million had been set aside by the Governor and state lawmakers to expand ARRIVE — funding that has enabled over forty municipalities in nine different counties to benefit from the program, including Newark.
“It’s imperative that we get our residents the proper help they need in times of mental distress, and the ARRIVE Together program has proven to do just that. When law enforcement officers, mental health professionals and community members work together, we ensure that mental health emergencies are de-escalated safely, fairly, and efficiently,” said Governor Murphy. “Expanding the ARRIVE Together program to Newark will equip the Brick City with another tool that builds on its efforts to foster stronger relationships between its officers and the communities they serve.”
“We know that ARRIVE works. Making mental health resources readily available to those in crisis has the power to deescalate tense situations, reduce the need for arrests, and make for positive outcomes,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Today’s multifaceted partnership between my office, the City of Newark, New Jersey TRANSIT, and our healthcare providers, is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together with common purpose. I continue to be grateful to our partners, the state legislature, and Governor Murphy, for recognizing the value of ARRIVE early on, and I appreciate their continued support as we work to bring ARRIVE to every resident in the State.”
Launched on June 21, the Newark program is a three-day-per-week pilot in which mental health screeners from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care are paired with members of law enforcement to respond to mental and behavioral health crisis calls and where mental health screeners partner with members of the Newark Police Department and the New Jersey Transit Police and engage in outreach to people experiencing homelessness, mental and behavioral health issues, and substance abuse issues at Newark Penn Station. In the one month that the program has been active, ARRIVE teams have engaged in or responded to over 80 proactive outreaches and calls for service.
“I am grateful to Attorney General Matthew Platkin for expanding the ARRIVE Together program to benefit Newark residents who may face a mental health crisis that necessitates the intervention of a professional service provider along with a crisis-intervention trained Newark Police Officer. Building on what we’ve already established in Newark, this program ensures that each crisis incident is resolved as safely as possible,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “ARRIVE Together seamlessly supports the successful work of our Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery in partnering behavioral specialists with members of the Newark Police Division to appropriately address crisis-related calls for service.”
The ARRIVE program, first piloted by the State Police in Cumberland County in December 2021 in partnership with the Cumberland County Guidance Center, paired a New Jersey State Trooper with a mental health screener in an unmarked vehicle to respond to 9-1-1 calls for service relating to mental or behavioral health crises.
Since its inception in 2021, ARRIVE has demonstrated its value as a means of aiding New Jerseyans coping with mental and behavioral health emergencies by taking a clinical approach to responding to residents, rather than a punitive one. As noted in a recent report by The Brookings Institution, ARRIVE has resulted in a lower level of arrest and use of force, higher utilization of mental health services, as well as, fewer racial disparities in outcomes.
ARRIVE has several models, and the model used in any given community is based on the needs and priorities of each community. Models range from a co-response model, where law enforcement officials are paired with mental health clinicians who respond together to calls for service, to follow-up care where law enforcement identify individuals they have engaged with and mental health providers respond without law enforcement to ensure residents have access to mental health and other support services. In addition, a telehealth model provides law enforcement officers with electronic tablets that can be used by individuals in distress to obtain real-time virtual telehealth services from mental health professionals.
The Office of the Attorney General is also actively exploring additional ARRIVE models that could involve other emergency responders beyond or without the need for law enforcement in certain instances. In each instance, communities play an integral role in developing an ARRIVE model that works best for them. To learn more about the ARRIVE program and the current models operating across the state, please visit https://www.njoag.gov/programs/arrive-together/.