City of Evanston Partners with Oakton for C.A.R.E. Responders Training

Des Plaines, Ill. (May 28, 2024) – The City of Evanston has partnered with Oakton College to provide comprehensive training and certification for the recently announced Crisis Alternative Response Evanston (C.A.R.E.) responder program. The C.A.R.E. program is an initiative designed to provide a non-police response to certain calls for service deemed lower-risk. The C.A.R.E team will consist of dedicated professionals whose lived experience and training will allow them to respond to a range of community concerns.

Training and Program Overview

Starting in June 2024, Oakton College will commence training for C.A.R.E. responders. The program will consist of a 28-hour Emergency Crisis Responder training spread over three weeks. Training sessions, facilitated by Oakton College educators, will take place three days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Following this time-frame, the City will conduct field trainings. Additionally, the City will provide training two days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Oakton College Emergency Crisis Responder program is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively respond to community crises. This comprehensive program covers various aspects of crisis intervention, mental health, restorative justice, and community resources. Participants will engage in both theoretical and practical training, including ride-alongs with the municipality's crisis response teams, to ensure they are prepared to handle real-world situations.

Furthermore, the City will offer one year of supplementary field training facilitated by the Evanston Police Department and the Evanston Fire Department. This inclusive training will encompass Narcan administration and C.P.R., among other essential skill sets. Responders will receive an Emergency Crisis Responder Program certificate from the Workforce Development at Oakton College.

“When the City of Evanston approached us with this specific need, we knew we wanted to leverage our resources to respond quickly,” said Jesse Ivory, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Workforce Innovation and College Partnership. “Our Emergency Crisis Responder program was developed to equip participants with the necessary skills for emergency situations. We are proud to be part of this important initiative.”

Workforce Development at Oakton College

Workforce Development at Oakton College is a reliable and responsive partner, committed to addressing the needs of communities, businesses and industries. Aligned with Oakton’s Vision 2030: Building Just and Thriving Communities strategic plan, the College excels in swiftly developing and implementing customized programs, such as the Emergency Crisis Responder Certificate.

C.A.R.E. Team

The inaugural cohort of C.A.R.E. responders will comprise nine employees. Specifically, the original C.A.R.E. responder team will consist of five members, including the Deputy Director. In addition, designated employees from the Parks and Recreation Outreach Team will be assigned as backup responders and will partake in the same comprehensive training program.

“We are truly grateful for the partnership, which will undoubtedly pave the way for the success of our C.A.R.E. responder team. Our collaboration with Oakton College is vital, as they have committed to providing a curriculum that perfectly aligns with our team's needs,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Audrey Thompson. “We eagerly anticipate the continuation of this partnership as we witness the remarkable development of this program. As one of the pioneering cities in the Midwest to establish a program like the C.A.R.E. responder team, we are filled with optimism for the future,” she added.

During the initial phase, C.A.R.E. team members will be available seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and can be contacted by dialing 9-1-1, 847-448-4311 (or 3-1-1 while in Evanston), or the Police Non-Emergency Line at 847-866-5000.

For more information about the Oakton College Emergency Crisis Responder program, please email