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Joe Hogsett

Source: JOE HOGSETT/AC Brown / amos

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said a clinician-led pilot program to respond to mental health-related calls could begin early next year if the City-County Council approves the proposal in October.

Hogsett, Director of the Office of Public Health and Safety Lauren Rodriguez, City-County Councilor Crista Carlino, D-District 6 and Josh Riddick with Faith in Indiana discussed their plans during a press conference on Thursday.

The $2 million proposal would be included in the city’s 2023 budget if approved. It would allow for mental health clinicians and other experts to respond to calls and increase mental health expertise in the 911 dispatch center.

There were renewed calls for this type of program, including from Faith in Indiana, following the death of Herman Whitfield III.

Whitfield’s parents said their son was experiencing a mental health crisis when they called police for help in April. Whitfield, 39, died after he was tased while in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s custody.

Read more from WRTV here