NYPD cops and civilian mental-health staff will reply to 911 calls about emotionally disturbed folks as part of a $37 million plan Mayor de Blasio declared on Monday.
The groundbreaking initiative will involve emergencies in two “high-urgency” precincts, the 25th in Manhattan’s East Harlem and the 47th in the northern a part of The Bronx, City Hall stated.
Each precinct will get two “Co-Response Groups,” composed of a pair of cops and a counselor. The groups, when up and running, will end the current policy of only sending cops or paramedics to reply to 911 calls about mentally ill people.
The NYPD will also create a “Behavioral Health Unit” and use newly employed Health Division employees who’ve previously dealt with psychological issues to assist in preparing its Emergency Services Unit, City Hall stated.
The planned strikes follow the latest release of a scathing story by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams that blamed de Blasio’s inaction on town’s mental-health disaster for the deadly police shootings of a minimum of 15 unhinged individuals in the last three years.
The brand new program will fall under the sunshade of First Lady Chirlane McCray’s controversial and pricy ThriveNYC psychological-health program, which has come under fire for failing to provide measurable results regardless of its $250-million-a-year price mark.
Williams criticized de Blasio’s focus on offering the NYPD with additional support, saying, “We want a non-police first response to psychological health crises, and this plan doesn’t even put us on a track towards that aim.”
Law-enforcement sources further stated that combining cops with counselors was a recipe for disaster, with one warning that “some harmless person is going to affect real soon by this program.”