Crain’s NY: Ruth Lowenkron On Failures of B-HEARD, Win Rozario’s Death

April 4, 2024

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NYLPI Peers Not Police Rally


Ruth Lowenkron, director of Disability Justice at NYLPI, was featured in a Crain’s New York story about the failures of New York City’s non-police pilot program for mental health crises calls, B-HEARD, after Win Rozario, another New Yorker experiencing a mental health crisis, was killed by police.

Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman from City Hall, said that the mayor’s total proposed B Heard budget for the 2025 fiscal year is $35.3 million. The mayor’s savings plan to close gaps in the budget prevents the city from expanding the program, but will not peel back existing services, she added. 

Not all calls are eligible for a B-Heard response. Mamelak said that 911 callers who exhibit an immediate risk of harm, have a weapon or show signs of violence trigger a police response, not a B-Heard team. But Ruth Lowenkron, director of the disability justice program at the New York Lawyers for Public Interest, said that the term violent is subjective and could limit calls from being eligible. 

Subcribers can read more via Crain’s NY.

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