The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously – by a count of 14-0 – to create a pilot program to send “unarmed response” teams to nonviolent calls. Those calls are currently fielded by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The vote was hailed by the Council’s president Nury Martinez, who said “Today marks a seminal moment in our City’s history in our efforts to reimagine public safety.”
“Through this unarmed response pilot for non-violent calls, we will help Angelenos get the mental health and other support services they need from trained professionals. We will also free up police officers to do the work they are trained to do.”
“Ultimately, this will also allow us to provide our Black and Brown communities with the resources they deserve,” she added.
Now that the program has been enacted the council said it will issue a proposal “for a non-profit partner to implement a pilot program, and in addition seek recommendations from relevant departments on creating a new classification of city employees that would be responsible for responding to nonviolent calls for service that are currently handled by police officers.”