When a 911 Call Comes In It May be Better to Send a Mental Health Professional, Not the Police

From a story on futurity.0rg headlined “For Mental Crises, Send a Pro Not the Police?”:

New research uncovers the strongest evidence yet that dispatching mental health professionals instead of police officers in response to some 911 calls can have significant benefits.

The findings come as United States cities rethink the role of law enforcement in nonviolent 911 emergencies.

The study of a pilot 911 response program in Denver, in which mental health specialists responded to calls involving trespassing and other nonviolent events, finds a 34% drop in reported crimes during the six-month trial. The study by Stanford University scholars Thomas Dee and Jaymes Pyne also shows that the direct costs of the alternative 911 approach were four times lower than police-only responses.