The Evolution of ‘ARRIVE’: New Jersey’s Trailblazing Approach to Mental Health & Policing

The Uprise of ‘Arrive’ Across New Jersey: A Transformative Collaboration 

Date: August 15, 2023

NEW JERSEY – Since its inception in December 2021, the ‘Arrive’ program in New Jersey has swiftly and strategically emerged as a beacon for progressive change, weaving together law enforcement, mental health professionals, and communities for a united cause.

A Promising Beginning

The program took its first steps in Cumberland County in December 2021. Here, a unique partnership formed. The New Jersey State Police and mental health screeners began responding in tandem to mental health 911 calls, marking the birth of a new collaborative era.

Urban Expansion

Fast forward to June 6, 2022. The streets of Elizabeth and Linden witnessed a remarkable change when their police departments adopted ‘Arrive’, highlighting the program’s entrance into a major urban arena.

The State’s Investment in Progress

By November 2022, the New Jersey State Police received a hefty federal grant of $500,000 from the Connect and Protect Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response program. As the year concluded, Bridgeton, Roselle Park, and Atlantic City’s police departments also embraced the ‘Arrive’ program. Notably, Atlantic City integrated telehealth into their approach, addressing unique needs of its denizens.

Moreover, Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s dedication to refining and enhancing the program birthed the ‘Arrive’ Statewide Steering Committee.

2023: The Year of Expansion

Governor Murphy, recognizing the program’s potential, pledged a generous $10 million in February towards its expansion. ‘Arrive’ swiftly cascaded to three dozen municipalities across nine counties, bringing with it the launch of a novel follow-up model.

March 8th proved significant, with Dr. Rashawn Ray and the Brookings Institution unveiling an article that placed ‘Arrive’ under the limelight, hailing its potential to reshape policing paradigms.

Venturing Into Alternative Methods

July 2023 brought forth Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s visionary plan, establishing the Offices of Alternative and Community Responses. This initiative aimed at diversifying ‘Arrive’ models, fostering programs that wouldn’t hinge solely on law enforcement.

Arrive’s Current Triumph

August 1st, 2023, saw a landmark moment with ‘Arrive’ launching in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. This initiative, in collaboration with NJ Transit, Newark PD, and Newark’s Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery, embodies the program’s ever-evolving nature and commitment to fostering healthier communities.

As the ‘Arrive’ program continues its expansive trajectory, it stands as a testament to New Jersey’s commitment to revolutionize the intersection of mental health and law enforcement. Through collaboration, innovation, and substantial state support, ‘Arrive’ is not just a program but a movement, setting a precedent for the rest of the nation. Its success serves as a clarion call, reminding us of the possibilities that emerge when communities, professionals, and law enforcement unite under a shared vision for a safer, empathetic, and progressive society. As ‘Arrive’ evolves, so does the hope for a brighter, more understanding future for mental health in America.