South Bend leaders discuss unsigned proposal to implement mental health crisis response team

NOW: South Bend leaders discuss unsigned proposal to implement mental health crisis response team

South Bend city officials held a press conference Monday afternoon after a non-signed resolution released to the media requests the council create a mental health crisis response team within the South Bend Fire Department.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller, Council Vice President Sheila Niezgodski, Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski, and Fire Chief Carl Buchanon spoke at the press conference.

They said they had seen the resolution but do not know who sponsored it. The resolution was submitted after the filing process deadline.

Chief Buchanon said his department was not told about the proposal or the fire department's role in addressing mental health crises before it was filed.

He said the fire department is not equipped to properly respond to mental health crises. 

The Common Council will be meeting on Monday.

Council Vice President Niezgodski said she hopes there will be more dialogue surrounding how to respond to mental health crises. 

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