Calls to 911 for help with people dealing with a mental illness have, up until now, been handled by the Buffalo Police Department's Officers.  However, because of the latest developments with an Officer-involved shooting of 60-year-old William Henley, a new plan of action has been implemented to assist the Buffalo Police...Social Workers, who will accommodate BPD in response to 911 calls, when necessary, to assist with patients dealing with a mental illness.

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Mayor Byron Brown announced the initiative involving a partnership between the Buffalo Police Department and Endeavor Health Services, according to WKBW.  The initiative will involve a team made up of 6 officers, 2 lieutenants, 3 clinicians and a program supervisor, called The Behavioral Health Team.  The WKBW report states that a to Buffalo Police representative confirmed that The Police Benevolent Association approved a partnership between the Buffalo Police Department and Endeavor Health Services for one year, whereas Social workers will partner with Buffalo Police Officers on mental health and substance abuse-related calls.

The initiative is not necessarily a brand new idea as The Buffalo Common Council, presided over by Common Council President Darius Pridgen, approved the partnership at the beginning of July while The Police Benevolent Association did not approve of it until September, according to the WKBW report.  The Police Benevolent Association approval clearly comes just days after a Buffalo Police officer shot 60-year-old William Henley who was suffering from a mental health crisis and allegedly struck an officer with a bat, according to WKBW.