SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Some San Francisco residents are feeling fed up with a perceived lack of response from police and paramedics for handling street safety incidents.
In response to frustrations expressed from residents and merchants, the city is launching a new education campaign to help the public know who to call, and who will be dispatched to the scene for a behavioral health crisis.
For many incidents, even if you call 911, police officers will not respond. Instead, the city’s specialized street response teams will respond to help the person in crisis.
The Coordinated Street Response Program is “focused on helping the public understand what to do when they see someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis on the street. We want people to know what to do, who to call, and how our specialized street response teams work together to meet the needs of the person in crisis,” officials with the Department of Emergency Management wrote.
Call 911 for police, fire, and other emergencies, including:
- Drug Overdose
- Medical emergency
- Mental health crises
Calling 911 puts you in contact with a dispatcher who will send the “most appropriate response team” for each situation, the Department of Emergency Management wrote.
911 dispatchers will likely ask you: Where is the emergency? What is happening? Who is involved? Is anyone hurt?
San Francisco’s street response teams are designed to reduce the need for police during a mental health crisis or drug use crises, city officials said.
Call 311 for city services and non-emergencies, including:
- Support for homeless people
- Mobility and sidewalk access issues
- Street or sidewalk cleaning
- Trash debris pickup
- Illegal parking and abandoned vehicles
- Syringes and hazardous waste
- Graffiti and vandalism
You can request services, ask questions, and get information. 311 operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The 311 call-taker will assess the situation and may issue a service request, provide information, or direct the caller to the right place.
To learn more about the city’s street response teams, 911, and 311, you can go to www.sf.gov/oktocall