Elected officials demand more info on mayor’s proposal of involuntary removals
Mayor Eric Adams’ office is looking to implement a plan of involuntary removals of those with mental health issues in public spaces, but elected officials are raising questions regarding the plan’s specifics.
City Council members sat down with the mayor’s office to see how this plan would help those with mental health issues and keep the public safe.
“Mental health has been one of the most overlooked and neglected issues in our health care and justice system,” said Brooklyn councilmember Mercedes Narcisse.
The plan aims to aid those who suffer from serious mental illnesses, and the mayor’s proposed plan would allow more direct intervention from law enforcement and health care workers alike.
“New York state law allows us to intervene when it appears mental illness is preventing an individual from meeting their basic human needs,” said Jason Hansman of the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health. “We must make this universally understood by outreach workers, hospital workers and personnel.”
Hansman says the two laws that are being proposed would allow first responders and licensed clinicians to determine if someone should be hospitalized if they’re perceived as a danger to themselves and those around them. They would be removed and taken to a hospital, where they would be evaluated by a doctor.
Two proposals were also introduced as potential components. One is a proposal requiring NYPD officers to get trained on how to handle interactions with those with autism, and the second proposal requires a guide be made to help streamline and make the mental health resources provided by the city known.