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700 S. Clinton St. Chicago IL 60607

1 855 827 2444

Law Enforcement and First Responder Deflection Services

TASC works with police, other first responders, and community partners to help people who are at risk of overdose get to needed services, instead of being sent to the emergency room or jail.

How do we do this? In suburban Cook County, we call our work Deflection Co-Responder Technical Assistance. Or—in the term we coined, which is now in use nationally—we simply say “deflection.”

Deflection is when police and other first responders get help for people who have overdosed or have substance use disorders, and is an alternative to arrest or the emergency room. 

Co-responders are the partners who make it happen—law enforcement/first responders, treatment providers, social service providers, and community members—all working together to save lives, avoid arrests and emergency rooms, and keep families and children together. 

Designed to Meet Community Needs

In our program in suburban Cook County (communities surrounding Chicago), we help law enforcement and other community partners develop their own deflection co-responder programs to assist people who are at high risk of overdose, have overdosed, or have a substance use disorder. Co-developed with our partners, programs connect people to treatment, housing, services, and case management that is equitable and responsive to gender, race, ethnicity, and individual needs.

TASC deflection specialists also provide training on preventing opioid overdose deaths, including naloxone administration and accessing evidence-based substance use treatment programs.

Training and technical assistance (both virtual and in-person) are provided by TASC’s Center for Health and Justice through the Cook County Department of Public Health's Partnerships to Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths initiative. 

Funding for this initiative is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).


  • Jac Charlier, Executive Director, TASC’s Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) - email Jac
  • Guy Schingoethe, Director of Deflection - email Guy
  • Or call us at 312-573-8302

More about this program:
       Download fact sheet  

Related Media:

  • In Opioid Fight, Cook County Launches Deflection, Naloxone Initiative with TASC/CHJ as Partner (TASC Blog, December 10, 2020)
  • Deadliest year ever for fatal opioid overdoses in Cook County. ‘These are losses that could and should be prevented.’ (Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2020)
  • Cook County to fight opioid deaths by giving anti-overdose medication to police and other first responders (Chicago Sun-Times, December 9, 2020)

TASC’s Center for Health and Justice is a national pioneer and field-wide leader in deflection co-responder approaches. Along with providing direct services, we proudly serve as the national research & TA center for the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) under the U.S. Department of Justice Department.

Learn more about our national leadership in deflection TA and consulting.