Jackson County COMBAT Leads the Way with Community CareLink Referral Program
Using Community CareLink's technology, Jackson County COMBAT, based out of Jackson County, Missouri, is making it easier for police officers to help individuals and families receive life-changing and even life-saving assistance. First launched this summer in Raytown, the program has expanded to Northeast Kansas City in November.
With the new Social Services Referral portal, police officers (as well as school officials and other first responders) can make a single referral to one agency, regardless of circumstances. That single agency does all of the follow-up work.
Raytown Police Chief Bob Kuehl believes the COMBAT Social Services Referral portal is the first system of its kind in the nation: “I searched and couldn’t find anywhere else in the country where a system like this was being used. We needed a bridge between the officers on the scene and the resources in the community available to help people out. There was a gap. This system provides that bridge and closes the gap.
“A lot of police departments are trying to utilize social workers more, but the 9-1-1 calls keep coming in,” he continues. “It’s not easy to have those in-depth conversations later with a social worker about what’s happening with this family over here or this family over there. With this system, we can make a referral on the spot.”
Working closely with Jackson County COMBAT, the CCL team developed an online portal to allow referrals to be made immediately, often while officers are still on the scene responding to a 9-1-1 call. From July 1 through November 30, 2021, Raytown police officers and school officials made 53 referrals using the CCL portal.
“All there is to it is checking a couple of boxes and hitting SUBMIT,” Chief Kuehl adds. “Filling out the referral form is simple on your phone and can be done anywhere, anytime.”
“Those referrals represent real people with real problems,” states COMBAT Director Vince Ortega, “in some cases, problems so severe that the police were called to their homes. This system allows the police to do more than just deal with what is happening in that moment. It allows the police to also give people an opportunity to get assistance, so hopefully the police won’t have to come back later.”
“We’ve partnered with COMBAT for 7 years” said Dale Gray, CCL’s CEO. “They continue to lead the country in developing more effective ways to help people in need. We are incredibly grateful to be a part of building these life-changing and life-saving innovations.”
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