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Tucson Police Shortage Leads to Mental Health, Drug Abuse Experts Answering Some Calls

Tucson, Arizona’s Police Department is rearranging its staff for several calls due to a staffing shortage. Instead of visiting the TPD, some calls will be delivered to mobile crisis teams, that are staffed with mental health, drug abuse and destitute outreach experts.

These teams will handle reports of noncriminal destitute activity on public property, minor noise complaints, panhandling, demands for welfare checks and suicidal people who are not a menace to others, based on Police Chief Chris Magnus.

Police continues answering calls which involve violence, large, disruptive gatherings or any immediate threat to public safety.

Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega stated the change in certain police calls follows the growing public support for nonpolice responses to nonviolent situations.

“This falls using the mayor and City Council vision regarding the city safety pilot program,” Ortega stated. “The way we can deploy other sources, and also the funding of this is both purpose of other partners in addition to our very own.”

Previously year, Black Lives Matter along with other activists have pressed to “defund law enforcement,” contacting local governments to reallocate money for policing with other community services.

The Tucson Police Officials Association known as the reducing calls “unfortunate” for police and communities. However the TPOA stated it supported these calls being handled by crisis management teams, that are funded by condition and federal tax dollars.

“I believe which will help the citizens of Tucson,” stated Don Jorgenson, president from the TPOA along with a TPD worker.

The announcement seemed to be well accepted through the local Black Lives Matter chapter. Inside a Facebook publish, Black Lives Matter Tucson known as the move a “start” and stated that none of those calls must have been handled through the TPD to start with.

Within an extended effort to deal with the staffing shortage, Mayor Regina Romero may also shrink her security detail to higher react to resident calls. Two full-time people of her team will go back to law enforcement pressure when she isn’t at a bad risk of injury.

Romero’s office stated that among these new changes, it’ll consider the retention issues the department is facing.

“Mayor and Council have provided direction towards the City Manager to conduct a citywide market compensation analysis to make a plan that addresses the requirements of our entire organization, including our Police Department, and it is fair to our 3,500+ employees,” the mayor’s office stated inside a statement. “Case study arrives to Mayor and Council during our April sixth meeting.”

Magnus stated that lots of his officials have remaining for greater pay elsewhere which the department’s lower wages allow it to be harder to draw in new replacements. Research conducted recently, that the chief reported in the presentation towards the City Council, discovered that TPD officials make 13.4 % less, typically, than people of nearby public safety officers.

Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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