Mental health professionals to get some Baltimore 911 calls

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore officials will soon begin sending some 911 calls to mental health professionals instead of police.

Mayor Brandon Scott announced details of the pilot program Friday, noting that it will connect people to the care they need and allow police to focus on combating violence.

The 911 diversion pilot run by the city government and a behavioral health nonprofit organization is set to begin in June.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the effort will initially focus on people with suicidal ideations and without weapons or plans to act on those thoughts.

Sunny Schnitzer, Baltimore’s deputy mayor for public safety, says these calls account for about 10% of 13,000 behavioral health-related calls to 911 annually.

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