King County cities form new Regional Crisis Response Agency

The Regional Crisis Response facility will have a total of 13 staff members.

During the month of November, the city councils of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park and Shoreline each adopted a partner agreement to form a new Regional Crisis Response (RCR) Agency.

An interlocal agreement merges North Sound RADAR (Response Awareness, De-escalation and Referral) Navigator program with Kirkland’s Community Responder program. The new entity will provide community mobile crisis response services to all five cities.

“Cities in the North Puget Sound region came together to find a coordinated solution for providing much-needed behavioral help resources to those in crisis,” said Lake Forest Park Deputy Mayor Thomas French.

The RCR Agency will have a total of 13 staff members, including 10 Mental Health Professional Community Responders, which will improve public health; safety; and emergency response services such as crisis response awareness, support and resource referral for community members.

Partner cities will fund the new agency, which will be jointly governed. Additional funding support will also come from King County’s Mental Illness Drug Dependency (MIDD) levy, among other grants.

The City of Kirkland will serve as the administrative host of the program, and the initial term of the agreement is four years, including the option for neighboring jurisdictions to join after the first year of operation.

“This regional agency will help find the appropriate support in situations involving behavioral health challenges while reducing the burden on law enforcement as the principal responders,” said Deputy Mayor French. “This collaboration to provide mental health support in the North Puget Sound region is a huge step forward for those in need.”