This town of 170,000 replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years

The CAHOOTS crisis-response program saves its city money and its people living on the streets a great deal of unwanted police contact – contact that in other places is a common cause of excessive force and arrests that solve nothing. And, while less than 1% of its calls require police backup, the resource-thin agency cautions that it is a partner with police, not an antagonistic replacement, and that its model cannot simply be copied wholesale regardless of where it's used.

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