Updated: February 04, 2021 01:02 PM
Created: February 04, 2021 07:22 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Assemblyman Harry Bronson and Senator Samra Brouk announced Thursday new legislation to ensure mental health experts respond to a mental health crisis.
Named after Daniel Prude, "Daniel's Law" would establish both state and regional mental health response councils which would permit mental health professionals to respond to mental health and substance abuse emergencies.
Activists have pushed for the law to be passed since it was first brought up during protests in response to Prude's death last year. Prude died in March 2020, just days after he was restrained by Rochester Police, and lost consciousness.
The lawmakers were joined by local mental health advocates, as well as Joe Prude, Daniel's brother. Both Bronson and Brouk say while police officers are often the ones called to mental health situations, they frequently lack the experience and training needed to properly help. Bronson called the current system "broken" and Brouk, who is the chair of the Senate's Mental Health Committee, echoed the statement.
"I want the people in our district our families our friends and neighbors to live free of the fear that they or their children will be assaulted or killed by police when they're in distress," Brouk said.
The bill will also require 911 dispatchers to be trained to properly dispatch the proper response for the call for help.
Brouk and Bronson's announcement comes as the city of Rochester prepares to release its drafted police reform proposals Thursday, the proposals are required per Governor Cuomo's executive order. The city released a preview of what's on the table.
Additionally, former Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary, who was fired in wake of the Prude case, will publicly testify before Rochester City Councilmembers on Friday. His session will start around 9:30 a.m. and will be live-streamed on WHEC.com, as well as City Council’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
You can view the legislation below.
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