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BLUE ISLAND, Ill. — Blue Island police and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office have teamed up to offer virtual access to on-scene mental health professionals.

The agency has become the latest suburb to partner with the Sheriff’s Office Treatment Response Team — a group of mental health professionals who provide round-the-clock mental health responses via Zoom video conferences or phone calls.

“Service calls involving a mental health component can turn volatile extremely fast and can be difficult for even best trained officers to diffuse,” Sheriff Dart said. “Our co-response program allows individuals in crisis to be heard and gives officers on-scene time to better understand the issues and decide on the best course of action.”

Launched last year, the program began with just the sheriff’s office then was expanded to the Oak Lawn Police Department.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said they have been in talks with other suburban police agencies who are interested in the program. With the addition of Blue Island and Oak Lawn, the program is now available to officers serving more than 200,000 Cook County residents.