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New Haven Looking To Create Crisis Unit As Police Alternative

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The city of New Haven, Connecticut, wants to form a crisis intervention unit that can respond to some calls that otherwise might have been dealt with by police officers.

The idea is to take some burdens away from law enforcement, and make wellness, homeless and mental health checks.

Mayor Justin Elicker said he’s been working on the project for the past two months.

“Two individuals -- one with some mental health expertise and social working expertise and another with some medical expertise will respond," Elicker said. "But we also want to make sure that this program fits New Haven appropriately and so part of the next six months is going to be collecting a lot of input from many stakeholders to tailor the program to make sure that its successful for New Haven.”

It begins with a planning phase budgeted for $100,000 that involves a call out to potential funders and services providers.

Connecticut's capital of Hartford is working on a similar endeavor.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.