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New Mediation Response Unit Handling 911 calls

New Mediation Response Unit Handling 911 Calls


If you were to make a 911 call in Dayton, Ohio it might not be the police that picks up. The city has put in place a new unit consisting of mediators to come and offer help. “We’re showing up in the spirit of ‘How can we help you in that situation’ and that immediately de-escalates” says one of the mediators from the pilot project taking on low level 911 calls. Do you like this new initiative?

If one were to call 911 in the Dayton area, it might not be an officer who shows up. Non-emergency mediators from the city’s new Mediation Response Unit like Josh Bedink and Raven Cruz Loaiza may respond.

The mediation crew takes low-level 911 calls. They are the first mediation team ever to go to a scene on their own, armed with nothing but a two-way radio.

When asked if she ever feels unsafe, Loaiza said: “Well (I’d) be naive to say no, it would be naive to say no. But most generally dispatch does check on us.”

“I mean, I think this button here (on the radio) we have a button here on our side. if we didn’t have the minute we hit one of those buttons, everybody in the DPD,”Loaiza said.

The team said they’ve taken close to 700 calls since they started back in May. Many of the calls are in response to mental health issues, noise complaints and neighbor complaints.

They said the reason they show up is not to ticket or arrest anyone, but to prevent that from happening.

Many of the calls they respond to, they leave the scene after handing out a pamphlet for more resources and filing a report. It’s all an effort to de-escalate conflicts.

“Just not having a badge and a gun already de-escalates the situation quite a bit,” Loaiza said.

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