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Alternative Dispatch Initiative: Mobile Crisis Outreach Response to 911 Behavioral Health Calls

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $550,000)

City of New Orleans Health Department is applying for the BJA FY 22 Connect and Protect grant funds, seeking the full amount of the federal award ($550,000), to support its Alternative Dispatch (AD) Initiative. The AD Initiative is a collaborative endeavor between the City of New Orleans (the lead applicant); the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD); the Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD), the Public Safety Answering Point for all emergency calls via 9-1-1 in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Resources for Human Development (RHD), a non-profit agency with over 50 years of experience providing services to those with behavioral health needs, and the subaward recipient on this grant application. The AD Initiative seeks to integrate a mobile crisis response team into its 9-1-1 operating system to divert non-violent calls related to behavioral crises to a team of professionals trained in behavioral health crisis response. This team can respond by either resolving the crisis over the phone or by dispatching a mobile crisis team to the scene, anywhere in New Orleans, 24/7/365. RHD intends to utilize these federal funds by strategically researching, purchasing, and implementing a crisis call center management software system that can assist call takers in managing complex calls and help identify systematic inefficiencies, leading to improved operational and programmatic outcomes. Additionally, RHD plans to develop and convene a crisis stabilization task force to coordinate behavioral health crisis services across key stakeholders.


New Orleans, Louisiana has a population of 376,971.[1]  Additionally, 59.2% of the population identify as Black, 33.4% identify as White, and 23% live below the poverty line.[2] Recent data indicates that NOPD officers respond to nearly 14 calls per day related to behavioral health crises.[3] About 8 behavioral health calls per day were deemed non-violent and could be safely diverted to a mobile crisis team.[4] Based on this data, the AD Initiative could serve about 2,920 individuals per year.


In the proposal narrative (pg. 9-10), the City of New Orleans identifies two priority areas that the AD Initiative addresses: one OJP priority area and one program specific priority area related to reducing the risk of harm to those with behavioral health challenges. The City of New Orleans is not a previous recipient of this award.


[1] U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: New Orleans city, Louisiana; United States

[2] U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: New Orleans city, Louisiana; United States

[3] See attachment titled "OPCD MH Calls for Service Data"

[4] See attachment titled "OPCD MH Calls for Service Data"

Date Created: September 29, 2022