Should we look to expand alternative options to police for some low-level 911 calls?

The story of a Colorado man calling 911 and ending up shot by the responding police officers has sparked some conversations around a neighboring districts policies for low-level 911 calls.

In Denver, their Support Team Assisted Response program (STAR) “has been sending mental health specialists instead of uniformed police to some low-level 911 calls.” (Axios)

Some takeaways from the 6-month initial trial:

“From June to December 2020, the city saw roughly 1,400 fewer reports of low-level criminal offenses, or a 34% decrease, in STAR-patrolled neighborhoods compared to neighborhoods without the program.”
“STAR also cost four times less to respond to minor crimes, lowering the average for each offense from $646 to $151.”

Should we be looking to expand these kind of programs beyond the individual cities that decide to pursue them? Should there be any federal support for these kind of programs?

Do you think that these kind of police alternatives can be effective/beneficial across the country? Why or why not?

If applicable, what negative effects could this kind of program have if implemented elsewhere?

submitted by /u/BaeBeSlippin
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