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Transforming Dispatch and Crisis Response Services

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

March 2, 2021

Historically, law enforcement has been the default response to all 911 calls for service, including incidents involving individuals experiencing crises related to behavioral health disorders and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities. It has been observed that many of these incidents are service-based calls, where the presence of law enforcement may not be needed. In recent years, communities have increased efforts to reorganize their crisis response systems, training 911 call-takers and dispatchers to shift away from directing law enforcement as first responders to these calls. This webinar features four programs that have leveraged the training, policies, and procedures of 911 call-takers and dispatch when restructuring their community’s response to crisis incidents. Panelists present the innovative approaches in crisis response implemented by their programs and discuss the challenges of ensuring appropriate services are dispatched to crisis incidents to best meet the needs of individuals.


  1. Training of CIT Dispatch Trainers Ruth H. Simera, Med, LSW; Executive Director Coordinating Centers of Excellence, Northeast Ohio Medical University

  2. Colorado Justice Mental Health Collaboration Program: Dispatch / Crisis Services Collaboration Peggy Heil, LCSW; Behavioral Health Specialist Colorado Division of Criminal Justice Abigail S. Tucker, PsyD SHE Consulting, LLC

  3. Albuquerque Police Department’s IDD Training for Telecommunicators Ben Melendrez, Detective Albuquerque (NM) Police Department

  4. Transitioning 911 Response: San Francisco’s Street Crisis Response Team (SCRT) Pilot Program Robert Smuts, Deputy Director San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Simon Pang, Section Chief of Community Paramedicine San Francisco Fire Department


Webinar Recording


Downloadable Materials

Dispatch Transcript
Download TXT • 78KB
911 Distressed Caller Diversion Program in Broome County, NY
Download PDF • 409KB
Dispatch Crisis Response_Slides
Download PDF • 4.84MB


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