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Syracuse Police Chief believes co-response to mental health calls can save lives

CNY Central
September 11, 2020

When you call 9-1-1 for a fire, a fire truck arrives. For an accident, an ambulance is sent. When those who are having a mental health crisis call for help, a police officer comes. Some interactions can end peacefully and others can lead to arrest or hospitalization. Now there are calls to change that.  

"One of the things you are seeing now is a co-response rather than first responders. A co-response would include police and mental health experts. I think that's a great idea,” said Syracuse Chief Kenton Buckner. “I think having someone co-respond with police is a tangible example that we can look forward to in the future as a new footprint for police and the social services we may be able to partner with."