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Posted on: November 18, 2022

Community Emergency Services and Supports Act


In August, 2021, the State of Illinois passed the Community Emergency Services and Supports Act (CESSA) in part, to address increases in mental health calls to emergency responders. The new legislation, which is intended to be effective January 1, 2023, requires emergency response operators such as those at 9-1-1 centers, to refer calls seeking mental and behavioral health support to 9-8-8, a service that can dispatch a team of mental health professionals instead of police in situations where there is no threat to oneself or others.


Since the legislation passed in August 2021, the State has opened the 9-8-8 call center; however, the mobile crisis response teams and dispatching protocols are not in place. Further, there is currently no mechanism for 9-1-1 to transfer to 9-8-8, an important function for the law’s implementation. Dispatch professionals have serious concerns about the implementation including potential confusion that could result from misdialed calls or calls lost in transfer.  Until the protocols are established, training occurs and the mobile crisis response teams are established geographically, full implementation will not occur.  


Over the last several years, the Village of Flossmoor and its regional partners have observed an increase in mental health calls and recently increased attention on a regional collaboration to address mental health and social service response in coordination with emergency dispatch.


Flossmoor’s regional dispatch center, E-Com, has been regularly briefing its member agencies on the status of the CESSA legislation and at Flossmoor’s request, the center has convened a committee to further discuss whether it should consider some interim services or even an overlapping social service response depending on the final implementation of CESSA.


Currently, 9-1-1 centers and first responders have more questions than answers in regard to the CESSA rollout, which will not be fully implemented until well after the first of the year. Flossmoor and the other dispatch center municipalities have committed to staying involved in the State’s implementation as much as permitted, and are collectively evaluating what measures would best address needs locally and how those services will be funded.


The Village will update residents regarding future CESSA updates via our E-News and our Village website.

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