NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Who should respond to mental health calls in our city, and how?
Mayor John Cooper said answering that question will be a top priority for Nashville’s new police chief.
Cooper discussed that during a Zoom call yesterday with “Nashville Organized for Action and Hope” or NOAH.
NOAH recommends that Nashville create a task force by the end of the year that will work toward implementing what’s called the “CAHOOTS” model, or “Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets.”
Simply put, any 911 calls involving a mental health crisis get routed to the “CAHOOTS” line and a team of mental health professionals respond.
Mayor Cooper says he agrees Nashville needs a better system but doesn’t need a task force.
“The Policing Policy Commission is doing this exact work right now,” he said. “One of the things I specifically asked them to do was to look at this and make recommendations with the 41 members that are there with how we respond to people with mental illness. It will be one of the primary focuses of the new chief.”
Mayor Cooper says right now Nashville does not have the funding for the “CAHOOTS” program.