A new city service employing crisis workers with expertise in mental health and de-escalation will replace Toronto police as first responders for certain non-emergency 911 calls starting in 2022. The pilot program was described by Mayor John Tory as the start of a “fundamental transition” in how the city responds to residents experiencing mental health distress. The pilot project will be limited to three areas of the city, with a mobile crisis unit designed to serve the city’s indigenous communities. The pilot project is planned to operate from 2022 to 2025, with the possibility of wider implementation at the conclusion of the trial period.

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