Anchorage to fund new team of mental health first responders

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The 2021 operating budget passed by the Anchorage Assembly includes funding for a city Mobile Crisis Team, which advocates characterize as mental health first responders.

    The city will use money from an alcohol tax to fund the response team that can take the place of police officers when responding to people with mental health issues.

    First responders trained in mental health will be dispatched to situations for which police are not trained.

    The Mobile Crisis Team will provide a tailored response for each person while limiting situations that could result in violent interactions between police and the public.

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