Updated: March 12, 2021 06:33 AM
Created: March 11, 2021 12:33 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester's Police Accountability Board held a hearing Thursday night to discuss its oversight investigation into how the City of Rochester responds to mental health calls.
The meeting was to help people learn about the city's Person in Crisis Team, which was first announced last year in the wake of the death of Daniel Prude, and launched in January, just days before the PAB launched its investigation after officers pepper-sprayed a 9-year-old girl.
The hearing featured a brief presentation from PAB Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds on the history, successes, and failures of past crisis intervention teams in Rochester. Then, PIC Commissioner Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres gave an overview of the team. The PAB says the hearing will conclude with PAB Board Members asking questions about the team's funding, procedures, and "roadblocks to success."
"The PIC team was launched and designed to do work in lieu of law enforcement," Lyman-Torres said. " And responding to those call types in lieu of law enforcement would've meant that those call types would have had to be screened for things like weapons that would preclude the PIC team from doing work by itself, and so the way that pilot [program] was designed, that's why the call types were set up that way."
As News10NBC reported Wednesday, local mental health advocates are calling for more resources as a result of the recent pepper-spraying incidents, and Wednesday morning's shooting, where an RPD officer shot a man they say was armed with a "large knife." Bodycam footage was released by the city late Wednesday night.
RPD Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan told News10NBC's Berkeley Brean what happened Wednesday morning is not a call for PIC.
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