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Resource ID: #28972
Subject: Mental Health
Source: Rachel Holliday Smith, Ese Olumhense, Greg B. Smith
Affiliation: The City
Date: 2019-11-18



Amid recent incidents of mentally ill people dying in encounters with police, THE CITY began investigating how the NYPD deals with such emergency calls and uncovered a string of broken promises. In 2015, City Hall pledged “crisis intervention training” for all cops to help them de-escalate interactions with the mentally ill. We found less than one-third of the NYPD’s nearly 37,000 uniformed officers have been trained — and some may never be. “Co-response” teams of police and mental health workers formed in 2016 were never connected to the 911 system as planned. In 2014, City Hall announced plans to open within two years “diversion centers” staffed by trained men- tal health workers, where cops could bring people experiencing emotional distress. When we started our reporting last spring, not one center had opened. In most of the at least 15 cases of mentally ill people killed by police since 2016, cops on the scene were not trained in how to deal with people experiencing a mental health crisis.
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