Chicago plans to swap police officers for mental health professionals on some emergency calls under a new pilot program decried by experts and law enforcement officials who contend it’s an extension of the "defund the police" movement with potentially dangerous consequences for responding clinicians.
The controversial strategy comes as a violent crime surge continues to plague the city, with shootings up 11% this year during the same time frame in 2020. Many law enforcement experts say Chicago should be boosting the amount of money it injects into specialized training for police officers instead of diverting funds away from the police department.
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