Columbus mayor proposes $5 million alternative 911 program

Ohio

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COLUMBUS, OH (AP) – The mayor of Ohio’s capital city has proposed spending more than $5 million on a program offering an alternative to calling police for people in crisis.

The move follows a six-week pilot program earlier this year in Columbus that teamed together paramedics, social workers, and police dispatchers to review the best response to non-emergency 911 calls.

The plan announced Tuesday by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is aimed at people suffering from mental health and addiction issues for whom a police response isn’t always appropriate. The alternative response program also aims to free up officers for true public safety emergencies.

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