As conversations of police reform unfold in a multitude of cities, officials are looking to alternative response systems for non-criminal police calls. One such program has been running in Eugene, Ore., for 31 years. A mobile community-based crisis program, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) employs trained civilians to address disturbances that do not involve crime, such as struggles over substance abuse or homelessness. Instead of a police officer, often a medic and mental health worker arrive on the site, and rather than using force, they listen, empathize and provide resources. Last year, CAHOOTS fielded more than 24,000 calls, of which less than 1% needed assistance from police, and no one has ever been seriously injured. In 2017, such teams answered 17% of Eugene Police Department's overall 911 call volume, saving the city $8.5 million a year 2014-2017. Similar programs have sprung up in Denver, Oakland and Portland.

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