City promises to address ways police respond to mental health calls

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As it currently stands, not much has changed as far as how police will respond to mental health calls.

How police respond to mental health calls, and whether or not they should even be involved in responding to these types of calls, is the topic at the center of many of the protesters’ demands. Many of them say using force on a person experiencing a mental health crisis is an inappropriate response to the situation.

Mayor Lovely Warren acknowledged their concerns and announced this weekend that some changes are coming.

“We are doubling the availability of mental health professionals, at the suggestion of Councilmember Lightfoot,” Warren said. “We will take our Family Crisis Intervention Team or FACIT and move it and its funding to the Department of Youth and Rec Services.”

This team is currently responsible for handling cases involving domestic disputes, mental health issues, landlord-tenant problems and other similar matters.

When asked over the weekend how a call like Daniel Prude’s would be responded to differently today, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary did not provide any details but said when officers are dispatched, they do their best to respond to the situation.

There are still lots of questions about how responses to mental health calls will improve.

For full coverage on the death of Daniel Prude, click here.