Together with advocates and stakeholders from the Greenburgh, Mount Kisco, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Port Chester and Yonkers communities, County Executive George Latimer announced seven Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT) in Westchester. The teams, which are co-located with the local police departments, have the responsibility of providing 24-hour mobile behavioral health crisis support when responding to emergencies. The MCRT program was a recommendation of Project Alliance, a task force created by Latimer in 2021 to help re-imagine policing in Westchester. Law enforcement training to help police effectively deescalate situations involving people with behavioral health challenges was determined a top priority, and as a result the MCRT program was formed. Now, the MCRT program is being implemented throughout the County with the Port Chester Police Department serving as the first host site.

Latimer said: “Every emergency, every 911 call, is different. When our police respond to an emergency and it is clear that someone is struggling with a mental health issue, we want them to be armed with the tools that they need to prevent a serious crisis before it occurs. The Mobile Crisis Response Teams are designed to provide 24-hour, seven-day a week support to every community in Westchester, to make sure that police, EMTs and dispatchers have the appropriate resources to help people. Whenever possible, a mental health crisis should receive a mental health response, and that is exactly what the MCRT program does.”

Watch the full news conference.

Under Latimer’s leadership, the Westchester County Departments of Community Mental Health, Public Safety, Emergency Services and Social Services are instituting the recommendations of Project Alliance to help people manage behavioral health issues in the community. Through seven host police departments, teams are providing mental health crisis coverage to the following Westchester County communities:

Greenburgh PD Host Site Covers:

  • Ardsley Police Department
  • Dobbs Ferry Police Department
  • Elmsford Police Department
  • Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department
  • Irvington Police Department
  • Tarrytown Police Department
  • White Plains Police Department

Agency: MHA of Westchester

Mount Kisco Host Site Covers:

Westchester County Police

  • Bedford Hills Police Department
  • Lewisboro Police Department
  • New Castle Police Department
  • North Castle Police Department
  • North Salem Police Department
  • Pound Ridge Police Department
  • Somers Police Department
  • NY State Police

Agency: MHA of Westchester

New Rochelle Host Site Covers:

  • Bronxville Police Department
  • Eastchester Police Department
  • Mount Vernon Police Department
  • Pelham Police Department
  • Scarsdale Police Department
  • Tuckahoe Police Department

Agency: The Guidance Center of Westchester/Expanded team

Ossining PD Host Site Covers:

  • Mount Pleasant Police Department
  • Pleasantville Police Department
  • Sleepy Hollow Police Department
  • Briarcliff Manor Police Department

Agency: Family Services of Westchester

Peekskill PD Host Site Covers:

  • Buchanan Police Department
  • Cortlandt Police Department
  • Croton on Hudson Police Department
  • Yorktown Police Department
  • Westchester County Police Department
  • NY State Police

Agency: Westchester Jewish Community Services

Port Chester PD Host Site Covers:

  • Harrison Police Department
  • Larchmont Police Department
  • Rye Police Department
  • Rye Brook Police Department
  • Village of Mamaroneck Police Department
  • Town of Mamaroneck Police Department
  • SUNY Purchase Police Department

Agency: Family Services of Westchester

Yonkers PD Host Site and Expanded Team

Agency: PEOPLE USA Inc.

Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Michael Orth said: “This is a significant success in County Executive Latimer’s Project Alliance Initiative.  Our local police departments now have direct access to MCRT to respond immediately to residents experiencing a behavioral health crisis.  The Mobile Crisis Response Teams will help to engage individuals, address their needs, and connect them to appropriate services and supports. We are greatly appreciative of the County Departments of Public Safety and Emergency Services, local municipalities and law enforcement, and our community partners for their collaboration in developing a crisis system that will provide the right level of service for any person experiencing crisis in the most expeditious way possible.” 

Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said: “The ability to have mental health professionals respond with police officers will help ensure the best and safest outcome when someone is in crisis. These are always challenging incidents and we look forward to working in partnership with Project Alliance to de-escalate these encounters and get people the help they need.”

Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Social Services Leonard Townes said: “Project Alliance partnerships like these are essential to the safety and well-being of Westchester residents, and draw upon the expertise of public and private agencies including Mental Health, Emergency Services, County and local law enforcement, Social Services, and community providers to respond to the needs of residents and collaborate on necessary services.”

Port Chester Police Chief Charles Nielsen said: “Port Chester PD is excited to be able to host this very important program. With this added level of support when responding to a person in crisis, our officers will be able to use both their training and the training of the MCRT to get the person the treatment that is warranted. This program is another tool to use in this ever-challenging world we live in, and it’s the Department’s hope that there will be many success stories through the MCRT program.”

Executive Vice President of Clinical Services for Family Services of Westchester Karen Fink said: “Family Services of Westchester is very excited to be a part of this innovative initiative that will help individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis get the proper support and treatment they need.  This model will significantly add to our ability to reach those in crisis, and our team of mental health clinicians and peers, as first responders, will help de-escalate and build rapport so that individuals can be connected to appropriate services to ensure they receive the best possible care.”