CALL Program reaches 100 days, aims to improve response to non-violent, non-criminal 911 calls

Pinellas County

(Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Police Department and Gulf Coast Jewish Families and Community Services sharing the success of the Community Assistance and Life Liaison (CALL) Program in its first 100 days.

The goal of the program is to improve police response to non-violent and non-criminal calls by sending social workers to assist.

“The individuals are going through something they don’t know how to handle it, they are distraught, hopeless, scared.  These are not police calls, these are the appropriate situations when we want the CALL team to respond,” said Megan McGee with St. Petersburg Police Department.

Some of the calls for service include mental health crisis, suicide intervention, truancy, homeless complaints, and neighborhood disputes.

In the first 100 days of the program, CALL has responded to more than 350 calls for service and received more than 280 referrals from within the St. Petersburg Police Department.

“We think this is a great measure of officer acceptance and appreciation of the program because they are able to see that the services call provides are needed,” added McGee.

St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway said this program is another tool the department has to help the community and he looks forward to keeping it.

“We’ve already placed it in our budget for next year so hopefully, the Mayor has already told us we can, but we are just waiting for the City Council to approve us for maybe multi years,” said Chief Holloway.

Chief Holloway said he plans to share what data, information, and what he’s learned from the CALL Program with local law enforcement agencies around Tampa Bay.

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