The City of Toronto is about to launch a new pilot program that will change the response to 911 calls involving mental health crises. As of a city council vote on Thursday, these types of calls will be responded to by civilians, as opposed to police, as long as no threat of violence is present.
On average, Toronto sees about 30,000 calls for people in crisis per year. With this new plan, crisis support teams will be assembled in different regions of the city to respond to the calls. The pilot program is set to officially launch in early 2022. If it’s successful, it will be fully implemented across the city by 2026.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) February 2, 2021
Of course, much of the program is in response to the Black Lives Matter protests that drew attention to the issue last summer. Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, protests erupted across Canada and the United States.
Here in Toronto, the protests were amplified following the death of Regis Korchinski-Pacquet, who fell from the 24th floor of a High Park apartment in the presence of Toronto Police. The police were on the scene after being called about a family dispute and mental health situation. It was after this tragedy that the city council began discussing a plan like this pilot program.
To learn more about Toronto’s new crisis call pilot program, you can read the official news release here.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