Detroit Evening Report: Detroit police to introduce non-lethal tools, update crisis call procedures

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Detroit Police are working on a plan to upgrade equipment and vehicles as part of their new mental health crisis strategy.

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Bridge Detroit reports that the changes in the Crisis Intervention Team will be presented in the next 90 days. In the meantime, DPD will roll out non-lethal tools and new policies as the number of crisis calls have increased in the city, resulting in several high profile incidents of people suffering from mental illness being shot and killed.

The family of Porter Burks, a Black man fatally shot 19 times during an early morning confrontation with Detroit police last October, filed a lawsuit against the city for $50 million. The officers fired 38 rounds in three seconds.

Around a dozen city vehicles used by the Crisis Intervention Team will be retrofitted to make passengers more comfortable, including adding secondary green lights since the traditional red and blue can cause additional stress. Just last month the police department had a 24% increase in mental health-related calls compared to a year ago.

“Those (green lights) have been shown to be less intimidating to those who are in crisis,” White told Bridge. “It creates an environment where they can connect with that mental health responder and not be intimidated by the interaction.”

Other headlines for Feb. 15, 2023:

  • DDOT adding 10 new clean diesel buses to fleet
  • Bilingual students at Hamtramck schools will receive special recognition upon graduating
  • Detroit City Councilmember Santiago-Romero offering interpersonal communications training

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.