Help! Not Police! Crisis Responses That Avert Police Calls

By Sandra Larson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Cities, court systems, citizen groups, and affordable housing operators are crafting ways of responding to emergencies that reduce the risk of negative police interactions.

The May 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers galvanized anti-police-violence protesters across the U.S. In the aftermath, many cities and grassroots groups have sought changes, with calls to defund the police and to create and support crisis response methods that cut the chances of unnecessary arrests and police-instigated injuries or fatalities.

Alternative crisis response efforts take varied forms: Some seek to avoid police altogether, others aim to improve police culture with mental health training, still others dispatch mental health experts in concert with police.

For agencies that serve vulnerable populations, practices to avoid unnecessary police action include instilling a de-escalation mindset and cultivating internal crisis teams to handle onsite incidents as unarmed first responders.

Shelterforce explored crisis response practices and checked in with affordable and supportive housing organizations around the U.S. on how they strive to handle incidents at their properties safely.

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