Today, the City’s Office of Performance and Innovation is launching the behavioral crisis response teams pilot project with Canopy Roots serving as the provider.
The teams will provide crisis intervention and counseling to people in crisis and connection to support services. Two mobile units will operate throughout Minneapolis 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and eventually ramp up to service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Each vehicle will have a team of two behavioral health responders and outreach supplies, such as water, socks, snacks and toiletries. Minneapolis 911 will dispatch the responders.
The response teams are an alternative to police response. The Minneapolis Police Department will only be on scene if dispatch determines the need to clear the scene first or the response teams request assistance to complete their work.
People having a behavioral crisis or reporting one, should continue to call 911 for help. 911 dispatchers will gather information and determine if the incident is eligible for a mobile behavioral health team response. The teams will not respond to incidents involving firearms or violent behavior.
The launch of the pilot project follows more than two years of research and engagement with community members and stakeholders.
“By using a design process that requires all solutions to problems be co-built with residents, who are also the end users, we are confident that we are now providing another alternative police response that will be trusted, impactful and supported by the people that need these services,” said Brian Smith, interim director of Strategic Management and director of the Office of Performance and Innovation.