After the mayor’s announcement that he would like to create a department of “trained, unarmed professionals” that would respond 24/7 to 911 calls involving behavioral health, homelessness, addiction and other social issues, city councilors, advocates and the union wanted a lot more information.
Mayor Tim Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair and City Councilor Lan Sena were joined by several other city officials as they spoke about the proposal at a news conference Monday but said they are still in the beginning of the planning process. Keller and Nair had already spoken to the Journal and other news outlets, including The Washington Post, about the plan over the weekend.
Nair said that the city has some of the groundwork laid out through existing programs and that a lot of the details still need to be worked out. She said rough estimates suggest the new Community Safety Department would need 32 people for each its six area commands, staffed around the clock, to respond to tens of thousands of calls a year.