Mental Health

The US police department that decided to hire social workers

The Alexandria police chief, Mike Ward, was “sick and tired” of sending his officers to respond to 911 calls that they lacked the skills and time to handle. In this small Kentucky town of 10,000 people 15 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio, two-thirds of the calls police responded to were not criminal – instead, they were mental […]

Mental Health And Police Violence: How Crisis Intervention Teams Are Failing

Nationwide protests over police accountability and racial justice have reenergized longstanding efforts to fundamentally change how police departments respond to someone in a mental health emergency. Many are calling for removing or dramatically reducing law enforcement’s role in responding to those crisis calls unless absolutely necessary. Since 2015, nearly a quarter of all people killed […]

In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment

Every call that is dispatched through the radio, twenty-four hours a day, to the CAHOOTS crisis responders is a tiny mystery, a staticky, incomplete assemblage of details. “White female in her thirties, brown hair, black mid-length shirt, last seen on Sixth, yelling and running into traffic,” for instance, on a recent Saturday evening in late […]

Will Tampa pay more to address the mental health calls police now handle?

For months, protesters and advocates have made the argument that police officers shouldn’t be handling calls involving mental health issues on their own. City Council member John Dingfelder has been listening. Last week, at the city’s first public budget hearing, Dingfelder, a citywide member, proposed that the city funnel $1 million to efforts to bolster […]

Montgomery County is committed to rethinking responses to mental health crises

Overwhelmingly, those facing mental health crises don’t need handcuffs. They need help. Yet, more than 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year. Data also shows a troubling correlation between calls to 911 related to mental health crises and the incidence of excessive force. With our nation still in the throes […]