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Cortez Police Chief discusses new program for emergency call response in Montezuma County

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Ellis Berry
/
KSJD
Cortez Chief of Police Vernon Knuckles

Law enforcement in Southwest Colorado is facing an alarming rise in calls related to situations like overdoses, domestic violence, and mental health crises. For example, there was an almost 75% increase in overdose calls and an almost 22% increase in calls regarding suicide threats between 2019 and 2020. That's according to a group of local law enforcement leaders and mental health professionals that are spearheading a Community Intervention Program to address the issue. One of those law enforcement leaders is chief of the Cortez Police Department, Vernon Knuckles. KSJD's Lucas Brady Woods sat down with Chief Knuckles to learn more about this new program.

Lucas is the News Director for KSJD Community Radio. His work focuses on serving the public of the Four Corners with responsible, factual reporting.