Recommended Appropriations

Programs Supporting Unarmed Crisis Response:  $2.0 million

(Click here to go to detailed programmatic recommendations on how City of Ann officials should attain improved public safety through greater use of unarmed responses to people in crisis or great stress.  Click here for the positions of other organizations regarding an unarmed response program.  Click here for information on unarmed response programs in other cities.)

A.  Collaborative Planning and Implementation With County Officials:  $1.1 million

 

       1.  City and County officials should collaboratively plan for improved public safety in a framework that assumes an armed response

  is the last, least favored option but which is nevertheless needed at times.  This planning should include, but not be restricted to:

  a.  Appropriate routing of calls to publicly sponsored crisis response numbers:  This should include prospective numbers, such as

        988, as well as current numbers.  For example, should calls from within Washtenaw County to 988, 844-44 MICAL, and 888-

         PEER-753 be automatically directed to, and answered by, the person at the WCCMH Access Line (734-544-3050).  The

         underlying principle should be “No Wrong Number”, that is, the caller is routed to the appropriate destination regardless of

         the number he or she called.

   b.  The response numbers to be emphasized in a countywide public education campaign to educate residents on the

         crisis/needs response numbers that are most appropriate for the primary types of crises and needs

              c.  Description of the budget, including both expenditures and likely sources of funding, needed to implement the plans

                    constructed in parts a) and b).

 

               d.  Additional resources needed to satisfy projected calls to the crisis response and pressing need telephone calls.

 

      2.  Implementation of the City of Ann Arbor’s role as defined in #1

 

This is likely a task with large start-up costs in FYs 2023-2025.  The annual cost will probably decline in FY 2026 because the equipment will have been purchased and the operating procedures will have been established.

 

B.  Evaluation of the System of Armed and Unarmed Responses To Crises and Pressing Needs:  $0.5 million

 

City officials need information on how well the response system is working in order to make constructive changes in policies and procedures.  Ideally, this information would be gathered in collaboration with County officials.  The City should implement a survey that would provide information on a) who people turn to for help in a crisis or highly stressful situation, b) why they make these choices, and c) how these choices evolve over time.  We describe such a survey elsewhere in more detail.  In brief, it includes a survey of households most likely to be in need of emergency services and a second survey of leaders of organizations who are most likely to be well informed on people’s attitudes and use of emergency response.

 

This level of funding assumes 1) a survey in Calendar 2022 to establish a baseline and 2) surveys in each of FYs 2024 and 2026 to identify changes in residents’ behaviors and attitudes.  We assume each of the three surveys costs about $150,000.

 

C.  Pilot Program — Civilian First Responders for Residents of Supportive and Affordable Housing:  $0.4 million

 

When faced with an emergency or highly stressful situation, every City resident should have a person or agency to call who is believed to be credible and trustworthy.  When people are highly suspicious of public employees and governmental agencies, the best way to satisfy the objective is likely to build and strengthen nongovernmental networks.  This pilot program explores this approach.  Selected residents of supportive and affordable housing, plus selected employees of the nonprofits managing the housing, would be trained in how to respond to crises and in what resources are available when additional help is required.  To use an analogy, these civilians are knowledgeable about “first aid” and also aware of when additional help is needed.  These individuals would be compensated.  Educational materials within the housing complexes would make residents aware of this resource.  The evaluation described in B) would provide a basis for knowing whether the pilot program should be scrapped or expanded.

Click here to go to Programs Serving Households With A Member Living With A Mental Health Condition:  $4.0 million

Click here  to go to Programs Serving Children and Youth:  $5.0 million

Click here to go to Programs Supporting All Three High Priority Areas:  $4.0 million