Recently, NYC launched the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, or “B-HEARD” program, to mobilize social workers instead of cops when responding to calls for people struggling with mental health issues. The teams respond to emergencies such as suicide attempts, substance misuse and serious mental illness.
The result? More people (95%) accepted help from the responding teams and fewer people were hospitalized.
This proves what reformers and abolitionists have been saying all along: We don’t need more funding for police, and we don’t need more cops on the streets. We need to completely reimagine public safety and drastically reduce the role of police in our society. (Isiah James, NY Congressional candidate).
My comment: Where practically possible the police should have no role in incidents involving the mentally ill. When they are summoned they, the police, should defer to people who are professionally trained to deal with the disturbed. The first thing policemen seem to do is to finger their guns.