Officials with Albany County announced a new program that is designed to address the issue of who should respond to calls for service when someone is dealing with mental illness. They’ve come up with a new plan they called ACCORD.

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ACCORD stands for Albany County Crisis Officials Responding in Diverting.

Basically, the program is designed to send proper emergency equipment to emergency calls. Police officers are often sent to respond to incidents that are non-violent and could be better handled by someone else.

The new program hopes to send specialized teams to calls that are involving someone with mental illness when the person is not being violent.

Albany County Chairman, Andrew Joyce, recently talked about the program. Mr. Joyce said, “We are not defunding the police in Albany County. What we are doing is raising the discussion about policing and public safety in our communities and taking action to help law-enforcement agencies be better equipped and responsive to the communities they serve. With ACCORD, we will be able to utilize our resources appropriately by having a team specially trained to handle issues of mental health and other non-violent emergencies, which allows our police to focus on what they do best, tackling crime.”

I don’t know about you, but I am very reluctant to call the police unless I really have to. We’ve all heard so many stories about family members calling the police, and then their loved ones end up being shot by the police.

Hopefully the new program will prevent people from being needlessly killed by the police.

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