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Mental Health Workers Will Replace Police Response to Some 911 Calls in NYC Pilot

Photo: Stock Unsplash @enginakyurt

Nov. 10, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mental health experts will be sent out next year instead of police officers in response to 911 calls involving non-violent people experiencing mental illness problems, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

The new plan, which will be piloted in a number of neighborhoods next year, involves dispatching FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and mental health crisis workers to the scene when non violent mental health episodes take place.

The professionals will replace armed NYPD officers who currently respond to these 911 calls.

“For the first time in our city’s history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help they need,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The pilot will launch in two “high-need” precincts in February 2021, de Blasio said — though he didn’t specify which precincts or neighborhoods.

The mental health team will be trained to respond to a variety of mental health calls, such as suicide attempts, substance misuse and serious mental illness episodes — all of which NYPD officers, along with EMTS, currently respond to.

The mental health experts will work to de-escalate the emergency situations to reduce police involvement. However, the mayor said, if there is a situation involving a weapon or risk of harm, the teams will respond along with NYPD officers.

The team members will have ongoing training, technical assistance and support from New York City’s public hospital system, de Blasio said.

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28 Comments

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Guestro

Reality is most mental illness is the result of the environment. Government does not do anything to address this, educating people on mental illness and behavior must cover everyone, not just treatment of the mentally ill or disturbed, and brand them as “crazies”. Everyone can benefit from this help, believe it or not everyone has some mental issue to some degree, it’s just how they can control this and how their environment dictates their further behavior. Seriously, educate everyone and treat them as if they all have mental problems starting from childhood. BUT NOOOOOO, you gotta keep the psych ward active, and psychiatrists must eat, right?

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Crybaby Conservative

Hashtagger- You’re wrong again… The Federal Bureau’s Public Corruption program focuses on:
Investigating violations of federal law by public officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government;
Overseeing the nationwide investigation of allegations of fraud related to federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs;
Combating the threat of public corruption along the nation’s borders and points of entry in order to decrease the country’s vulnerability to drug and weapons trafficking, alien smuggling, espionage, and terrorism.
Addressing environmental crime, election fraud, and matters concerning the federal government procurement, contracts, and federally funded programs.

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Mental health instead of NYPD?

You liberals think mental health is gonna solve crime? I think that money should go to the NYPD instead. Too bad you’re whining it didn’t go to a therapist.

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Trouble focusing on a topic so personify

You liberals??? I met many conservatives and even policemen who think the prisons have become defacto psych wards.Do you normally need some type of personified villain to target in a simple discussion?

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Hate to break it to you

But PTSD is NOT a veteran only mental illness. Anyone who was subjected to any sort of situation where their life or immediate safety is threatened CAN develop symptoms.

No disrespect to ANY military, but it is a cold hard fact.

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Mac

Something needs to be done to address and alleviate the impact of mentally ill and impaired individuals on the NYPD’s manpower and resources. With the aging of the American population and exponential increase in the population suffering from dementia and other age related illnesses affecting more and more people, the drain on NYPD could be damaging. My neighbor with dementia in Woodside has rushed off on several occasions causing all out searches by the NYPD and thankfully returned home safely through the hard work and dedication of the good men and women of the NYPD.

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ABoondy

you mean like the article in the NYP today where a mentally ill thug held a gun to an off duty cop to car jack him? the irony is just getting started.

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Crybaby Conservatism

No Bondy that incident you’re posting about was a life threatening incident. Nothing at all like or related to the post you’re responding to. Do you recall the a naked mentally ill man who was tasered by police, the distraught man who then fell to his death. The officer who gave the order to taser the man was so racked with guilt he committed suicide. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cop-involved-in-taser-death-kills-self/

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if there is a situation involving a weapon or risk of harm, the teams will respond along with NYPD officers

Right, so according to the article the NYPD would be there. You’re accidentally arguing FOR it lol.

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The main question is

WHO was watching your neighbor at the time? That has to be addressed and be dealt with appropriately. It’s no good for anyone for y’all to drop everything and look for the same poor soul every week or whatever. NOW someone has to be held accountable.

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Get informed you’re not invincible

To the person posting under “The main question is” – I believe you have it all wrong. Minding an Alzheimer’s patient is much more difficult than most think, you obviously have never had the responsibility and think you know it all. Most people don’t realize how far along a loved one may be until a major incident occurs. A sign of Alzheimer’s is a form of “paranoia” or in its earlier stages a person may seem a little more “guarded” than normal. This usually causes friction in the home which can and in many instances a visit by police. What the person whose post you’re responding to, about the neighbor who rushed off is pointing out that these types of occurrences are only going to increase as the population at risk for dementia drastically increases and it will most definitely eat more and more of police manpower and time and diverting resources. Silver Alerts have skyrocketed in their numbers and are slated to rise. Address it now before it is a crisis.

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Liberalism is a mental disorder

Just wait till the first social worker gets greased by a “non violent” mental case and the reality check comes due.

Maybe we can all hold hands and sing kumbaya.

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Crybaby Conservatism

Liberalism isn’t half as bad as the mental disorder of committing the the same exact mistake over and over again expecting a different result.

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$750 Tax Bill

Hunter – Like voting for a failed businessman for the highest office in the land for his business savvy. You know the reality TV Game Show host you’re always posting about.

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This is ACTUALLY the most nuanced understanding of the issue Trump lovers have

> if there is a situation involving a weapon or risk of harm, the teams will respond along with NYPD officers

Oops, you’re completely wrong! If you scroll up there’s a whole article about it.

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Never trust a hippy

Any cop will tell you how quickly and unexpectedly an apparently non-violent situation can get nasty. Only takes a split second to whip out a knife or a gun. Might as well call the coroner for back up as well as the cops.

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City Employee

@Hippy- Mentally health professionals deal with mentally ill patients all day long without police protection. I was a nurse in a psychiatric ward for 15 years. I don’t need a fourth hand account about the possible violence involved when dealing with somebody in crisis. Violence can occur in any domestic situation, traffic stop and protective sweep. Any “cop” can tell you that.

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Agreed, you were completely wrong

I can see why your opinion was so terrible, you didn’t know what the article was about!

The mental health experts are accompanied by police. You made up a situation where something bad happened? Ok…

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Cool but this article is about mental health workers....

Where was Trump mentioned? You must think about him a lot!

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if there is a situation involving a weapon or risk of harm, the teams will respond along with NYPD officers

Trump was never mentioned. Just the Trump lovers. You can scroll up to learn more!

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The mental health experts are accompanied by police

False, NYPD officers will accompany them if there is a threat.

That frees up the NYPD to fight violent crime. You’d rather they be arguing with a schizophrenic person instead, sad!

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