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New Haven Moving Forward With Crisis Response Unit

Police car
Scott Davidson
/
WSHU

Officials in New Haven, Connecticut, are teaming up with the state’s mental health mobile crisis unit to develop an emergency response alternative to police.

Dr. Mehul Dalal is Community Services Administrator for the city. Dalal said the partnership with the state will help guide listening sessions with community members.

“That’s a process we’ll be launching over the next six months. It’s for those who are most impacted, those who have experienced homelessness, those who have substance use disorders, mental health issues all of which may be potential beneficiaries of this service. We want their extensive input before we have a team on the ground,” Dalal said.

Dalal said he hopes by September people calling 911 about a crisis that doesn’t require police will get help from a social worker instead.

Dalal said the top change New Haven residents have asked for since summer racial justice protests is a crisis response team.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.