American Rescue Plan Technical Session: Emergency Response

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This session will provide technical assistance on using American Rescue Plan funds to respond more appropriately to emergency calls.

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The North Carolina Task Force on Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is sponsoring technical assistance sessions to provide assistance on three American Rescue Plan funding solutions that address both criminal justice reform and COVID-19 related mitigation and behavioral health needs.

Law enforcement officers are often called to address issues on which they receive little training and that are outside the core of  their expertise. Some of these calls may involve criminal behavior, but often the root is crisis, not criminality. People call 911 when a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, when they see a person on the street who appears to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, and when they see someone in need asking for money or going through trash cans. Responding to individuals in crisis is not the core purpose of law enforcement, and others, such as social workers, receive extensive training on how to respond to these situations.

This session will focus on responding more appropriately to calls for emergency service, specifically those concerning mental illness, autism, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse, homelessness, and other non-emergency situations. The expert panelists will detail how American Rescue Plan funding offers an opportunity for local governments to implement crisis response teams, co-responder teams, and alternate responder models to respond to calls for service.

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