NYLPI’s William Juhn Advocates for Peer-Led Police Response in Testimony to NYC’s Committee on Public Safety

March 20, 2024

Baerga v. City of New York, CCIT-NYC, Disability Justice, Health Justice, News, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

Image shows a NYLPI sign on the steps of New York's Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan

William Juhn, senior staff attorney, Disability Justice at NYLPI, submitted testimony regarding serious issues in New York City’s current mental health crisis response policies.

“NYLPI is deeply concerned about the City’s dangerous and illegal practices relating to the involuntary removal of individuals perceived to have mental illness diagnoses for psychiatric evaluation. We also oppose the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (“B-HEARD”) Program, a deeply flawed pilot that diverts resources desperately needed for non-police response to mental health crisis into a program that continues the criminalization of disability. NYLPI urges the City Council to mandate significant changes to the B-HEARD so that it becomes a truly non-police response system that dispatches teams of peers—individuals with lived mental health experience—and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who are not City employees.”

Read the fully testimony here.

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