Police Department

Behavioral Health Unit

Substance use and mental health conditions often go hand in hand and in order to better serve our community, the decision was made to combine the Mental Health Unit (CORE) and the Substance Use Response Team (SURT) under one umbrella, called the Behavioral Health Unit.

To read more about the Behavioral Health Unit, click here.

Mental Health Unit (CORE)

The CORE Unit is the new name for the Mental Health Unit. CORE uses a co-responder model and it began as a way to address the numerous responses to mental health calls in Duluth. At the time, officers were out of tools to help people in crisis. The ER was overloaded and the jail certainly wasn’t the solution. So an officer and a homeless advocate teamed up to work together to get individuals to the right resources. After several years of continued success and connecting hundreds of individuals to resources, the program expanded to a Unit Commander, two officers, two embedded social workers, and an embedded registered nurse. Since March 2017, 790 people have been referred to CORE and in 2021, 485 people have been referred.

If you'd like to contact members of the CORE Unit, call:


To read more about CORE, click here.

Substance Use Response Team (SURT)

The Substance Use Response Team (SURT) is a Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) modeled program within the Duluth Police Department. SURT was created in 2018 as part of a federal overdose outreach grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since that time, SURT has received additional federal funding that has allowed the program to grow and evolve to fit the needs of the community. Currently, SURT employs three Peer Recovery Specialists and through a partnership with the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment, SURT also employs an ADC-T who is able to offer Comprehensive Assessments to individuals in their homes or out in the community, and typically within 48 hrs. SURT’s primary goal is to get individuals struggling with substance use out of the criminal justice system and into recovery support services.

SURT provides outreach to opioid overdose survivors, performs street outreach, accepts family and friend referrals, offers in-reach into local jails, and receives referrals from partner agencies.

If you'd like to contact members of the Substance Response Team, call:


To read more about the Substance Use Response Team, click here.