City forms subcommittee to plan alternative emergency response pilot


City Council introduced the final version of the 2021 budget for adoption at the next council meeting on Nov. 23.

Jacob Fulton, City Editor

City Council approved the formation of an Alternative Emergency Response subcommittee on Tuesday.

The subcommittee, which will be chaired by Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th), was initially proposed at an Aug. 31 Human Services Committee meeting. Other members include Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th), Connections for the Homeless’ Community Outreach Manager James Barnett and Maureen McDonnell, executive director of PEER Services, among others.

Soon, the subcommittee will begin plans for the city’s Alternative Emergency Response pilot program, which is slated to be incorporated into the 2021 budget.

The subcommittee seeks to establish a method of responding to emergency situations that incorporates social workers or other health professionals who would be more equipped to handle mental health crises or domestic violence situations than a typical police officer might be.

The implementation of this program comes after months of calls to defund Evanston Police Department from many residents and activists. Over the summer, Mayor Steve Hagerty also hosted a series of Q&As about the role of EPD within the city, including a session discussing alternative methods of policing in other cities. 

The subcommittee will begin to meet in the coming weeks.

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Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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