ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Police Department said its Community Response Team has been a success so far, touching hundreds of lives.
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Officers want to turn the program from a pilot to a permanent program.
Eyewitness News first told you in March 2021 that the police department launched the Community Response Team pilot program.
Instead of sending officers to certain calls, trained mental health counselors are sent to de-escalate the situation.
READ: Orlando considering expanding pilot program helping with mental health emergency calls
We spoke to the captain leading the initiative, who said they’d like to expand the program as it is working.
“I want to add more teams simply because I know that the more the better. We are able to touch more lives. We started off with a pilot and it was a very modest start. As you can see, they’ve done an amazing job with that start,” said Lovetta Quinn-Henry, captain of the Community Relations Division of the Orlando Police Department.
READ: Orlando launching pilot program to send mental health professionals to nonviolent calls for service
The pilot program has helped more than 900 people with mental health issues in the last year.
The division connected more than half of those people with mental health care.
In today’s meeting, Orlando’s mayor and the commission voiced their support of the CRT pilot.
READ: Orlando City Council approves millions in funding to address homelessness, mental health issues
Leaders will see if they have the money in the upcoming budget to grow the program.
To learn more about the program, click here.
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