NEW ORLEANS - Alongside advocates, community stakeholders, and administration officials, Council President Moreno is proud to announce the filing of a formal Council Advisory Task Force focused on creating a model for crisis response in New Orleans.
The 13-member Task Force will be made up of community appointees with relevant expertise and experiences, as well as public safety officials. Members will be selected by August 1, 2021, and Council Advisory Task Force meetings will be open to the public.
“The community has been clear about their desire to see mental health and substance abuse emergencies addressed through compassionate care, not through the criminal legal system,” said Council President Moreno. “We need to meet these challenges with the appropriate response and lend help where it is truly needed. What’s more, these types of crisis response programs successfully save money and help us focus our limited law enforcement resources where they’re needed most.”
"For the past year, the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition (OPPRC) has been working directly with the community to strategize on new systems to support our neighbors experiencing crises in Orleans Parish—including the creation of a non-police mental health crisis response unit," Sade Dumas, Executive Director of the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition added."We are grateful to the New Orleans City Council for joining OPPRC and community members to create a safe alternative to calling law enforcement for mental health emergencies.
The Council Advisory Task Force will be given twelve months to meet and develop policy prescriptions for enacting a Crisis Response Team as an alternative to policing. The group has been mandated to deliver a report describing a policy framework for crisis response.
"We are encouraged that our councilmembers recognize that New Orleans needs help, not handcuffs, and will work to ensure that community members directly impacted by this issue are involved in every aspect of the creation of this non-police crisis response unit," Dumas said.
The Council will consider the Task Force motion at Thursday’s regular council meeting. You can watch the meeting live here.
You can read more about the non-police crisis response here.