Boston Could Get An Emergency Number For Non-Violent Issues

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — After weeks of local protests calling for police reform, three Boston City Councillors have filed an ordinance that would divert certain non-violent 911 calls away from armed law enforcement.

According to the Boston Globe, City Councilors Michelle Wu, Lydia Edwards and Julia Mejia filed the ordinance on Friday, which calls for "an alternative response from non-law enforcement agencies" in Boston.

The trio of Councilors said Boston police “routinely respond to nonviolent calls for service involving mental health, homelessness, substance use, and traffic crashes, which are matters beyond the scope of law enforcement’s function and would be better served by a public health response," the Globe reported.

Councilors Wu, Edwards and Mejia also said within 90 days, they want the city of Boston to create a crisis-response plan for non-violent calls, which should connect residents who need help with unarmed service providers like trained healthcare providers.

As the Globe reports, Mayor Walsh’s office said it will review the proposal, which is expected to be up for discussion at next Wednesday’s council meeting.

The push for a non-violent emergency response option in Boston follows nearly a month of nationwide demonstrations calling for police reform, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota officer on March 25th.

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(Photo: WBZNewsRadio/Mario Jarjour)

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