Last year, the Alliance (formerly NYAPRS) joined the Daniel’s Law Coalition and other statewide advocates to push for the passage of Daniel’s Law, a bill which would establish a statewide system for non-police mental health first responder teams. These teams would consist of an EMT, a peer, and other mental health professionals. While the final budget did not include funding for these programs or pilots, the legislature did create the Daniel’s Law Task Force to determine how best to implement mental health first responder teams as alternatives to police response.
The Task Force began meeting in August of 2023 and they are currently working to hear more from community stakeholders, collect data from relevant research, and view presentations from crisis responder programs around the country.
Today the Daniel’s Law Task Force will be hosting a presentation by representatives from the CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) program based in Oregon. This 30+ year old program sends EMTS and mental health professionals to crisis calls instead of police and has been seen as the gold star of crisis response programs. Many other successful programs, such as San Francisco’s Street Crisis Response Team, have been modeled after CAHOOTS.
The session will offer the Task Force, and viewers from around the state, the opportunity to hear more about the program and why it has been so successful. We hope this will support New York’s efforts to finally offer an appropriate alternative to police crisis response for all New Yorkers, no matter what area of the state they are in.
You can watch today’s Task Force meeting, which will include the CAHOOTS presentation, using the link below. Stay on the lookout for other ways you can support our and other advocates’ efforts to establish a statewide alternative response, including providing testimony to the Task Force during local listening sessions and coming to Albany for our Legislative Day on March 5th to push for the passage of the Daniel’s Law legislation.
Here is the zoom link for Friday, January 26th from 1 pm – 3pm: