Community Response Team Progress Report

Last updated on September 15, 2021


Alternative response pilot provides unique first responder services to those experiencing mental health crises  

ORLANDO, Fla. ---- On Thursday, September 16, at 11:00am, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will join with City Commissioners,Police Chief Orlando Rolón, Aspire CEO Babette Hankey, and Community Response Team (CRT) members to provide an update on the CRT pilot, which has now been in operation for nearly six months. 

The CRT pilot, a partnership with Aspire Health Partners, was launched in March 2021 as part of Mayor Dyer’s efforts to ensure that every person in Orlando is equally valued and protected.  To date, these teams of trained mental health professionals have responded to 549 citizens and connected nearly half of those individuals to local mental health care resources and support services. 

“This pilot program was born out of conversations with our community where we heard they want Orlando Police officers to focus on law enforcement and building relationships through community policing,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “We’ve already seen promising results having this new line of first responders, our behavioral health experts, responding to certain non-violent calls for service.  They have been able to provide care to some of our most vulnerable citizens and connect them to resources to help them improve their quality of life.” 

At the event, the team will discuss service data from the pilot, successes they’ve had in the alternate responder model approach, and future plans for the pilot. 

“The partnership between CRT and our department is proving to be beneficial for our citizens and our officers,” said Police Chief Orlando Rolón. “By making safety a priority, we have enabled the CRT to effectively assist citizens experiencing a mental crisis.  With a focus on de-escalation, the goal is to reduce the potential for arrests and provide the care citizens in crisis need and deserve.   And our officers recognize and appreciate how the CRT’s skill set gives them another tool to better serve our community.”

“We’re so impressed with CRT.  Our licensed professionals are providing a level of care that has been well-received by individuals seeking help, and by the community around them.” said Babette Hankey, CEO of Aspire.  “And the follow-through connections to local resources is putting these individuals in a position to receive lasting care.

Thursday, September 16, at 11:00 a.m. 
Orlando Police Headquarters, 1250 West South Street, Orlando, FL 32805
Media planning to attend the event should RSVP promptly to 

For a background refresher on how the CRT pilot works and what types of calls are responded to, click here.


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