of Los Angeles General unions at police stations have suggested having someone outside the police respond to more than 20 types of 911 calls to redirect police workload to more serious crimes. The move is part of a nationwide trend aimed at limiting the situations in which armed police officers are the first to respond.
The proposal, released Wednesday by the Los Angeles Police Protection League, lists 28 types of 911 calls, with other city agencies and nonprofits being sent first. The content of the calls ranged from mental health conditions, quality of life and homelessness issues, school issues and welfare checks, to specific non-fatal traffic accidents, parking violations, trash dumping, loud parties and public harassment. It extends to on-the-ground drunkenness and panhandling.
The league said officers would respond if the situation turned violent or criminal, but only after the initial call was sent to another agency or a related nonprofit.
“police officer I am not a psychologist. We are not psychiatrists. We are not mental health experts. We are not social workers, we are not doctors, we are not nurses, we are not waste management professionals,” Debbie Thomas, one of the union’s board members, said at a press conference on Wednesday. “I think a lot of people think we should be all those things, but we are not. We need to focus on engaging with
In Los Angeles, as well as in cities like San Francisco, San Diego and New York, clinicians are paired with police or working in private teams to respond to 911 calls involving people with mental health crises. The program is already running.
The change comes amid a close scrutiny of US law enforcement following the 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. This included considering how police handle mental health and other calls that do not involve violence or crime.
The Los Angeles proposal came during contract negotiations with unions and the city, as well as activist pleas to reduce or eliminate armed responses to certain situations. The city council and mayor’s office will be involved in making final decisions on the proposal, the union said.
Activists have long called on the Los Angeles Police Department to stop responding to certain mental health calls, minor car accidents, and homeless camp encounters.
of Los Angeles Police Department The mayor’s office had no immediate comment on Wednesday.
Hugh Esten, a spokesperson for City Council Speaker Paul Krekorian, said city officials “ensure that sworn personnel are put where they are really needed and that unarmed responders are available to handle situations requiring an armed response.” Therefore, it will be seriously considered,” he said. No need. ”
The union said it was down on staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the proposal would free up officers to handle more important calls such as violent crimes, and encourage officers to engage in more community policing to help the city. He says it will help build better relationships with residents.
Other cities are experimenting with similar models such as: PortlandIn Oregon, unarmed “public assistance professionals” have received reports of vehicle break-ins, bicycle thefts, and more.
In 2021, the LAPD will begin a pilot program to route some mental health calls to service providers. The department has also initiated a dual response team that pairs officers with clinicians in situations involving mental health crises, homelessness, and those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Also, in 2021, LAPD will stop responding to minor traffic accidents. The deputy commissioner at the time said the change would eliminate officers who respond to about 40,000 calls a year.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/los-angeles-police-department-ap-los-angeles-portland-police-officers-b2292442.html Los Angeles Police Union Proposes Limits on 911 Responses