DENVER (KDVR) — Clear Creek County is launching a new team to respond to some nonviolent emergency calls, an effort required in the $19 million settlement over the killing of Christian Glass.

A grand jury had already recommended a similar effort in the 2020 law enforcement killing of another man suffering a mental health crisis. But the 2022 shooting of Glass, who had called 911 for help on the night a deputy killed him, ultimately spurred the action.

Announced on Monday night, the Clear Creek Health Assistance Team will launch with a community paramedic and a licensed crisis technician.

“The goal is to reduce arrests and contact with law enforcement when a community member is experiencing a nonviolent crisis, reduce ER visits, connect at-risk community members with services and reduce costs,” the county said in a release.

Clark Church, director of the Clear Creek County Health Assistance Team, and Lynzee Buseck, licensed professional counselor (Credit: Clear Creek County)

Crisis response team in Clear Creek County

The CCHAT, as it’s known, will focus on these calls: disturbances, indecent exposure, intoxicated persons, Safe2Tell, suicidal persons, psychiatric calls, trespassing, unwanted parties and welfare checks.

It will also focus on outreach for people with a known history with law enforcement or emergency medical services, or people with “co-occurring disorders,” the county said. The team will also reach out to community members who may need support getting resources.

The county said it’s seeing “an increasing number of challenging calls made to 911,” and such calls made up 15-20% of the total last year. It’s asking for community members to serve on the CCHAT Resource Committee as the program rolls out.

The public can learn more and ask questions about the CCHAT at a town hall on Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. It will be held in the Board of County Commissioners meeting room at 405 Argentine St. in Georgetown.

Man in driver's seat makes heart shape with his hands
Body camera video shows Christian Glass, 22, before he was shot and killed by a Clear Creek County Sheriff’s deputy.

A county deputy shot and killed Glass in June 2022 after the 22-year-old had called 911 for help from inside his stuck vehicle. Video released months after the shooting showed him expressing fear and showing unusual behavior in a standoff that lasted more than an hour before he was shot and killed inside of his SUV.

His parents brought attention to the case. Ultimately, two deputies were indicted. In June, the Glass family reached the $19 million settlement with Clear Creek County, Georgetown, Idaho Springs and the state of Colorado.

In addition to the crisis response team, the settlement also includes a public park in honor of Glass in the county and law enforcement training on de-escalation.