Positions of Other Organizations Regarding Unarmed Response

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washtenaw County (NAMI - WC)

NAMI - WC approved the following policy at its February 2022 meeting.

 

NAMI WC approves the policy of using unarmed trained responders in lieu of other emergency personnel (e.g. fire, EMS, police staff) for service calls which are nonviolent and do not involve imminent threats to health or safety in order to connect people with the care they need.


Conditions of engagement: Our policy has two conditions:

 

  1. Unarmed responses by the City of Ann Arbor should collaborate proactively with policies and practices of existing service sectors including the justice, education, mental health, health and other community agencies. These include, but are not limited to, calls to the 911 emergency call network, the CARES (mental health) system, the 211 call network and the emergent 988 Crisis call network. We believe that the success of an unarmed response program depends on access to meaningful services which these sectors provide.

  2. Evaluation data about the unarmed response program should be collected, analyzed and reported regularly about the program’s process of development and the outcomes for callers.

 

Coalition for Re-envisioning Our Safety (CROS)

Click here to go to the source of the following quoted material.  Click here to go to the CROS website.

Our Proposal: There are existing models for this type of program across the country that our group has researched. These models show us what has worked and not worked, and invite us to adopt what we believe would fit best for our area. With this, our proposal for a model states that the program must: 

  1. Be politically supported and funded by city government, and housed and managed within a separate organization or group whose mission aligns with the work 

  2. Follow a public health approach by ensuring separation from law enforcement and the legal system (e.g. no law enforcement included in response) as well as by expanding beyond solely mental health to issues of conflict, public assistance, transportation and more. 

  3. Include a separate public phone number (e.g. 311) and dispatch, independent from 911 dispatch; recommendation to include a social worker into 911 dispatch to train how to route accordingly

  4. A 2-year (minimum) funded pilot that allows for quality design, implementation and evaluation

  5. Selected through an open public RFP process that is informed by community members and experts

  6. Includes direction and decisions from a governing board comprised of community members and leaders