Administration and Leadership, Community Paramedicine and Mobile Health

Aurora (CO) May Divert Some 911 Calls to a Paramedic

A police car sits in front of the The Aurora Municipal Center in this undated photo. (Photo/Aurora, Colorado Facebook)

Changes may be coming to Aurora (CO) and how the city responds to many non-violent 911 calls, The Denver Channel reports.

Authorities there already respond to those calls with a police officer and a clinician. A new program is looking to replace the police officer with a paramedic.

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The move would not mean police would be defunded or abolished, said Vinnie Cervantes, a community organizer with Denver Alliance for Street Health Response.

“For me it means that we can treat our community more humanely when they’re experiencing crisis, that we can talk to people that need help. They don’t need to be jailed, they don’t need to be criminalized,” Cervantes said.

Denver has had a similar program in place since June. Since then, there have been more than 400 calls where police did not have to be involved.