C.O.A.S.T. (Community Outreach and Support Team)

The primary function of a police officer assigned to the Community Outreach and Support Team is to work in partnership with members of the medical care profession in the assessment and treatment of the mentally ill. This includes linking individuals during and following a crisis with the necessary community resources and support systems in order to prevent further crisis. Also, to be a resource for information for other officers, assist to reduce the workload on the front line officer, and keep statistics on the impact this program has in reducing police-related calls.

Mental Health Services

Windsor and Essex County have a wide array of mental health related services available to its citizens. Click here for a list of these services.

History of C.O.A.S.T.

Based on the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

The Memphis Model is an innovative police based first responder program that has become nationally known as the “Memphis Model” of pre-arrest jail diversion for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. This program provides law enforcement based crisis intervention training for helping individuals diagnosed with a mental illness.

Outcome research has shown CIT to be effective in developing positive perceptions and increased confidence among police officers; providing very efficient crisis response times; increasing jail diversion among those with mental illness; improving the likelihood of treatment continuity with community based providers; and impacting psychiatric symptomology for those suffering from a serious mental illness as well as substance misuse.


Community Outreach and Support Team (C.O.A.S.T.)

  • Is a partnership between Windsor Police Service and the Community Crisis Centre of Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
  • Is a team consisting of a plain clothes Police Officer and a Crisis Worker
  • Provides on-site crisis and mental health assessments to individuals residing in the city of Windsor age 16 and over who are marginalized and vulnerable with complex mental health and psychosocial problems such as untreated mental illness; housing and financial issues; substance abuse; physical health care needs and frequent contact with police and hospital emergency services
  • Facilitates access to community services and supports in order to divert from the criminal justice system and/or hospital emergency departments
  • C.O.A.S.T. is not an emergency response service and is unable to respond to the following situations as initial means of contact:
    • Crisis negotiations
    • Known violent individuals or individuals in possession of weapons
    • Any call for service requiring a rapid response

Who can be referred to C.O.A.S.T.?

  • Someone who has a history of chronic and persistent mental illness with frequent police and/or emergency room visits
  • Someone who is at risk of arrest or hospitalization because of inappropriate or unusual behavior
  • Someone who is experiencing a decline in mental health negatively affecting day to day functioning. Often includes isolating from family, friends and service providers
  • Someone who is reluctant or unable to access services and no longer has contact with a health support system

Click here for the WPS COAST referral form

Goals of C.O.A.S.T.

  • To prevent further crises and facilitate referrals to appropriate community service providers
  • To divert from criminal justice system and when necessary to facilitate court support service
  • To divert from hospital emergency departments

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday

8:00 am to 4:00 pm