WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.) were joined by local and national justice advocates to announce new legislation to improve our emergency response capabilities by creating systemic alternatives to police involvement, especially where it could lead to unnecessary escalation. Their new legislation, the Community-Based Response Act, creates a new Community-Based Emergency and Non-Emergency Response Grant Program through the Department of Health and Human Services to establish programs to provide an additional option beyond law enforcement for community-based emergency response. The bill will promote an additional option for a community-based response in emergency situations, allowing the dispatch of professionals trained in mental and behavioral health or crisis response instead of law enforcement. As shown by new polling, this approach receives widespread support from the American people, regardless of political affiliation.
Read more about here, including a quote from national NASW CEO Angelo Mclain, PhD, LICSW.