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Tallahassee police launch mobile response team for mental health calls

The Tallahassee Police Department and the Apalachee Center have launched their new pilot project to send mental health professionals rather than traditional beat cops to non-violent calls involving people in crisis.

After months of planning, the Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile unit (TEAM for short) quietly started operations March 29. City officials will have an official kick-off Wednesday morning at Tallahassee Fire Department Station 1, where the mobile response unit is housed.

The TEAM, a collaboration of TPD, TFD, Apalachee Center and the Consolidated Dispatch Agency, is designed to bring an alternative approach to the flood of calls that come into police and firefighters for mental-health services. It consists of a licensed mental health professional, a paramedic or EMT and an officer in non-traditional garb trained in crisis intervention, who travel together in a city transit van.