Denver police are developing a pilot program that would dispatch civilian teams to certain 911 calls. Instead of a police officer, a team of mental health workers and medics would respond.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says when it comes to crisis calls that do not involve a weapon or threat to other community members police may not always be the best response.
“If we have a team of dedicated individuals with those types of backgrounds, we feel like we can have a positive impact on our most vulnerable population,” Chief Pazen told CBS Denver.
Denver would use a program already in use in Eugene, Oregon as a model. It is called Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets or CAHOOTS.