City of Akron, ADM Board, and Portage Path Behavioral Health Launch Summit County Outreach Team (SCOUT)

Akron, Ohio, March 5, 2024  — Today at a press conference, the City of Akron, Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADM Board), and Portage Path Behavioral Health announced the launch of a pilot program for the Summit County Outreach Team (SCOUT). The program is a co-responder model in which crisis-trained members of Akron Fire, Akron Police, and Portage Path Behavioral Health will jointly respond to low acuity calls for service where mental health is a concern, but the individual is not a danger to themselves or others.

In Dec. 2023, Akron City Council voted to authorize the city to enter into a contract with the ADM Board for the SCOUT program. That contract purchased a vehicle for SCOUT, equipment, and uniforms. The SCOUT team includes a clinician from Portage Path Behavioral Health, a paramedic from Akron Fire and one officer from the Akron Police Department responding to certain calls for service. The team’s goal is to de-escalate mental health crises and provide resources on the spot to those in need.  The initial SCOUT team consists of Portage Path Clinician Autumn Goffinet-Focus, Akron Fire Department Paramedic Marlon Sommerville, and Akron Police Officer Lou Petit. Paramedic back-ups will be AFD paramedics Ryan Mize, Mike Fuller, and Lt. Steven Berry.

As part of the pilot program, the team will initially operate from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. As the program evolves, those hours may expand.



Akron Mayor Shammas Malik: “This program really highlights the importance and power of collaboration. When we can come together and offer a team of responders all bringing their unique skillsets and specific expertise to a situation, we can better serve our residents in need. I’m excited to see the results of this pilot program and improved outcomes for those utilizing the resources from the SCOUT team.”

Executive Director at County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board Aimee Wade: “I am excited to pilot this initiative with our community partners with a lens towards serving Summit County individuals and families by offering an alternative to hospitalization or criminal justice involvement when someone is struggling with their mental health. As this program evolves, we hope to see people getting connected to community supports and resources that best serve their needs. This is a true example of our community coming together to try something different for the benefit of our residents.”

President/CEO of Portage Path Behavioral Health Dr.  Tracy Yaeger: “Portage Path is honored to be working with the City of Akron, the ADM Board, and the Akron Fire and Police Departments as we enhance crisis response. It is important that we all work together to find new solutions, assist our first responders, build services that are an effective and efficient use of resources, and greatly improve the quality of behavioral health care in our community. This new SCOUT program offers innovative responses to individuals in crisis in the community, leading to better outcomes for each individual.” 



The U.S. suicide and crisis lifeline is available 24/7 by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at