City council approves new team of emergency responders

Photo credit: Sean Martens

Photo credit: Sean Martens

The newly proposed Mobile Crisis Team was approved by Chico’s city council with a 7-0 vote on Tuesday.

According to city clerk Debbie Presson, the recommendation for the establishment of this team came from Chief of Police Michael O’Brien. O’Brien stated that this team will include two councilors from the Department of Behavioral Health, who will assist Chico police when responding to emergency calls where mental health is an issue.

O’Brien states in the agenda report that there were 1,500 mental health-related calls in 2017 alone. In many cases, the individuals were wrongfully placed in psychiatric care and were promptly released.

“The MCT shall operate with the goal of reducing the use of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization,” O’Brien said.

These councilors will assist with determining the proper response and assuring that individuals are placed in appropriate care.

Tisha Cheney can be reached at [email protected] or @orionnew_TC on Twitter.