Advocates Not Satisfied by Mayor's Plan to Stop Police Shootings of Mentally Ill

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Members of a City Hall task force that examined ways to decrease fatal police shootings of the mentally ill said they were disappointed by the de Blasio administration's plan to fix the decades-long problem. The task force finished its work last year; Mayor Bill de Blasio finally released the plan Monday after his staff promised it weeks earlier.

The city says it will invest $37 million for more teams of clinicians who can respond to crisis calls received through a city's mental health help line, which would be separate from 911. The money is also expected to pay for outreach to mentally ill people who are the frequent subjects of 911 calls. It will also add teams that provide services to mentally ill people living on the street. The idea is to decrease the mental health-related calls to 911. The NYPD will also experiment with allowing clinicians to accompany police on mental health related emergencies in two precincts—one in East Harlem and the other in the north Bronx.

But advocates for the mentally ill expected a more ambitious plan that would remove police from the equation entirely and allow mental health professionals to respond to mental health emergencies.

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