The city is launching a two-part ‘alternative response’ pilot program this fall that takes a more public health approach to responding to mental health 911 calls
A mental health professional and a paramedic will be dispatched to mental health-related calls instead of police officers
Mental health professionals will also be stationed inside 911 call centers and, from October, will be responding to some 911 calls by phone
The initiatives aim to both ensure people suffering a mental health crisis get the help they need rather than jailed and free police up for tackling crime
It comes amid a mass exodus of cops from Chicago PD with 363 officers retiring between January and June this year – higher than the whole of 2018
Defund the police protests following George Floyd’s murder have left only around 13,000 cops remaining while some crimes have surged
More than 100 people were shot and at least 17 killed over July 4 weekend alone, while shootings have spiked 11% so far this year
Mental health professionals will be sent out to respond to some 911 calls in Chicago instead of cops, following defund the police protests and a number of police killings of mentally-unwell people.
The city is launching a two-part ‘alternative response’ pilot program this fall that takes a more public health approach to responding to 911 calls for mental health emergencies.
The initiatives aim to both ensure people suffering a mental health crisis get the help they need rather than face criminalization and free police up for tackling crime, amid a mass exodus of cops from the force.
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A total of 363 officers retired from the Chicago Police Department between January and June this year, with another 56 on track to quit in July, according to figures from the police pension board.
If the trend continues, the mass departure will even dwarf the 560 retirements last year, when swathes of officers quit amid protests over the police murder of George Floyd and demands to defund the police.
With only around 13,000 cops remaining, Fox News reported that Chicago’s 117,000 gang members now outnumber officers by roughly 10 to one, at a time when the Windy City is facing a surge in violent crime.