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City Council Calls for Analysis on Mental Health and Domestic Violence Calls

The proposed report will consider the current capacity and response times for the Mental Evaluation Unit and Domestic Abuse Response Team

On Tuesday Los Angeles City Council directed city staff to develop a report about the number of mental health and domestic violence calls in the city and how best to respond with sights on potentially expanding its Mental Evaluation Unit and Domestic Abuse Response Team to respond to such incidents instead of police.

The motion was co-authored by Councilmembers Eunisses Hernandez, Curren Price, and Traci Park, who gave City Administrative Office, Chief Legislative Analyst and Los Angeles Police Department 30 days to report back.

The proposed report will consider the current capacity and response times for the Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) and Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART), as well as potential resource shortfalls that prevent the wider deployment of these specialized units. Additionally, a budget proposal will be put forth in 30 days with details on personnel expansion possibilities and funding sources needed to better support mental health emergencies.

According to LAPD data cited in the motion, only one-third of mental health calls currently receive MEU deployment. To better assess alternative response methods such as Denver’s Support Team Assisted Response program or Petaluma’s Specialized Assistance for Everyone program, city staff have been asked to compare six criteria: average/median response time; cost per team; level/types of training; percentage of deployments resulting in handcuffing/citation/arrest/use of force; percentage of issues resolved in the field; and percentage of deployments where service providers are connected.

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