Denver successfully sent mental health professionals, not police, to hundreds of calls

In its first six months, Denver's STAR program (Support Team Assistance Response) handled 748 emergency calls that in the past would have gone to the police or firefighters. Two-person teams of a medic and clinician helped people with personal crises related mainly to homelessness and mental illness. None of the calls required police involvement and no one was arrested. The city plans to spend more to expand the program, which is meant to prevent needless violence and incarceration from calls to the police that other types of first-responders can better address.

Related Stories