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Dispatching Mental Health Teams Instead Of Police To A 911 Call

Durham 911.png
Jay Price
Kirby Jones, a clinical social worker with one of Durham’s Community Response Teams, talks with homeless men after giving them a tent, sleeping bags and food. The teams carry supplies, including those for first aid. Between 911 calls, they often check on people they know from previous calls or have heard need help.

Joining a national trend, the city of Durham, N.C. has been dispatching mental health teams and not police to some 911 calls. Going over this story was its writer, WUNC Reporter Jay Price, who joined WNCW on Feb. 15th. Jay said that we usually think of three kinds of first responders rushing to an emergency. They are police, emergency medical providers, and firefighters. Now on that list and growing on mental health professionals.

Paul brings you regional news during NPR's Morning Edition from 7 to 9 weekdays, the "Friday Feature" on Fridays and "More to the Story" on Wednesdays. Curating WNCW's Art Break and public service news rounds out his commitment to the communities we serve.