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Duluth Police Department mental health unit changes name to CORE Unit

By Mattie Hjelseth
The Duluth Police Department mental health unit is changing its name to CORE Unit.

The new name integrates the co-responder model that is used in multiple police departments across the country. The unit responds and assists in calls for service ranging from mental health to homelessness, bridging the gap between responding to behavioral health crises and getting individuals the help they need.

The unit has referred hundreds of individuals to resources, which include mental health facilities, detox, missionaries, food shelves and more. The CORE Unit will continue to connect those who are in need to the right resources.

“The name change better represents the work the unit is already doing but encompasses it under one umbrella,” said Lieutenant Chad Nagorski.

Since the unit’s inception in 2018, the Duluth Police Department has seen a 31% decrease in calls for service among those with the most frequent contact with police.

The unit started with an officer and a homeless advocate and has grown tremendously to now having a unit commander, supervisor, two officers, two embedded social workers and now an embedded registered nurse.

“With the unit continuing to grow we are able to meet individuals where they are, offering assistance and connecting them to partnerships or resources we have in the community,” said Sergeant Kelly Greenwalt.

The unit is one of the Duluth Police Department’s nationally-recognized innovative programs that has helped find a solution to those who are in crisis.

Published in Breaking City of Duluth

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