Tucson Police Chief Says 911 Center Mental Health Officers Would Ensure Callers Get Correct Answer | Subscriber
“This is the constant argument with which we try to divert work to social workers, is that there is this huge danger factor, when in fact, statistically speaking, it does not exist” , Stamps said. “In 20 years, we haven’t had an incident like this, and now (our non-police teams) go out between 1,500 and 2,000 times a month.”
Further, Stamps said, “These are two different situations when a uniformed cop shows up against a social worker with a smile and a clipboard.”
The number of calls forwarded to the crisis line has grown steadily since the start of the program in October 2019. In that first month 89 calls were forwarded and in August 162 calls were forwarded. Of the calls transferred to the crisis line, 70% are resolved over the phone, Moody said.
Financially, Mesa PD now saves money by not having to answer calls from suicidal subjects, according to Stamps.
But more important than the financial savings is the direct impact on the person seeking help, Moody said. “In these situations, we bring people to the best place to get the help they need. “
“ We must go to the root of social problems ”
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said she was excited about the possibility of co-response or more as part of the city’s Community Safety Pilot Program, an upcoming project that aims to connect Tucsonans with the right services. for a variety of health and wellness needs including housing, addiction, mental health treatment and more.