Since the killing of George Floyd back in May, America has been in the midst of a deep reckoning with systemic racism, the police and communities. While the calls for defunding the police have grown louder and tensions between the public and law enforcement are building in some parts of the country, tangible change to policing has yet to be enacted.
Listen: How one organization is bringing behavioral health resources to Detroit Police and community.
Sherry McRill, CEO of Northeast Integrated Care, says their CAPPA (Community and Police Partnership Advocacy) program works in conjunction with the Detroit Police Department to provide crisis assistance and rapid behavioral health assessments. She says the partnership is focused on de-escalation on the scene and is “dealing strategically with individuals to find the resources and solutions so we don’t end up with violent situations.”
She says that funding is an obstacle in community policing and that perhaps calls to defund the police are really more about redistribution of resources. “We’re asking so much more of our police departments and officers than ever before, much like the burdens put on our school systems who used to be single tasked as well. It’s time for some changes to take place,” says McRill.