A state budget amendment would give Oakland’s new Community Response Program a $ 10 million boost, a non-police approach to community appeals for incidents that are neither violent nor criminal.
The budget amendment comes from State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and was announced Saturday in a press release issued by the office of Nikki Fortunato, chairman of the Oakland City Council.
The program – Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland – already has $ 6.5 million in municipal funding. Fortunato said the advice was redirected from the police department last week. The state’s boost depends on the governor’s signing of the budget after approval by the state legislature, which is expected to vote on the budget this week.
Fortunato and Rebecca Kaplan, Deputy Mayor of Oakland, thanked Skinner for his efforts. “In Oakland, we understand the urgent need to improve access to mental health services for non-violent crisis calls, rather than criminalizing community members who are already in a vulnerable state,” Kaplan said. .
It will be launched as an internal program within the Oakland Fire Department, Kaplan said, preferably with unsworn staff from the city’s most affected communities and initially focusing on East Oakland.