CO: The battle for Denver’s Union Station: Co-response teams mix compassion with policing

  • Date: 09/13/2022

It is outreach workers like Lara Cladny and the RTD officers she works with who provide the bridge between social services and policing.

Mental health clinician Lara Cladny stands in Union Station's downstairs bus terminal, trying to reason with a disheveled, barefoot woman. It's a midday in early August. The middle-aged woman shouts at Cladny to get out of her face.

Several RTD police officers now flank Cladny, as the encounter escalates. But she remains calmly persistent in her effort to find out if she can connect the woman to needed services. The woman screams at the mental health worker to shut up.

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