City of Durham adds to HEART crisis-response program – ABC11 Raleigh-Durham

The City of Durham is adding to its crisis response program.

For almost a year and a half, the holistic empathetic assistance response team or HEART program in Durham, has been working alongside 911 to find a different way to reach the kind of calls that don’t need an actual police officer to respond.

Starting Monday there will be more crews on the streets with about 30 new hires.

Full story: City of Durham adds to HEART crisis-response program – ABC11 Raleigh-Durham

3 Replies to “City of Durham adds to HEART crisis-response program – ABC11 Raleigh-Durham”

  1. This is so great and should be implemented in counties everywhere! Something like this would help police with avoiding situations they could possibly worsen. As well as helping the police force with their presence not being spread so thin. I also think it’s great that they are sending the HEART team to mental health related calls, and giving these people the help that they need. A measure like this would also assist officers where they can avoid more dangerous situations that they do not know how to deescalate at times? My question is, why is this not being implemented in other counties, and how much would this cost in other regions?

    1. Hi Anastasia, I completely agree that this program sounds like it has the potential to benefit both police and citizens. You bring up a good point, funding. However, I think if similar programs to HEART were implemented in a more widespread and eventually standardized way, the cost of properly training individuals to respond to substance abuse and mental health calls would pale in comparison to the cost associated with incarcerating individuals who struggle with these issues. I hope we see more programs like this implemented across the country.

    2. Hi Anastasia, I agree that the HEART team could really help with officers avoiding situations they could do more harm too. In class we have watched countless policing shootings, typically for mental health issues. And as it was brought up in the news report video, most people are calmer and more willing to talk when it’s not a person in uniform approaching them. As someone from Durham, it feels good to see this happening in my community. Funding could be an issue in other areas but I too would like to see this move to other cities.

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