NYC to test no-police mental crisis response in Harlem

Manhattan
NYPD patrol vehicle

New York Police Department patrol car (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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HARLEM, Manhattan — NYPD officers will stay out of many mental health crisis calls and social workers will respond instead in parts of northern Manhattan starting this spring.

The head of the city’s wide-ranging mental health initiative gave some details of the test program to lawmakers Monday, fleshing out a plan the city outlined broadly in November.

The test program will begin in three Harlem and East Harlem police precincts that together accounted for over 7,400 mental health-related 911 calls last year. Still, some important specifics remain to be seen in practice.

Mental health advocates have hailed the idea but expressed some reservations about how the city is structuring it.

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