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Letters to the Editor: Looking for CAHOOTS support
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Letters to the Editor: Looking for CAHOOTS support

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Looking for CAHOOTS support

I’m writing to support a grant proposal for federal funding put together by United Way in coordination with a local grass roots advocacy group, CAHOOTS in Lompoc. I am one of the founders of this group, and the amount we are asking for is to pay for additional planning – channeled through United Way – to establish an unarmed mobile crisis team modeled on the CAHOOTS program that has been operating in Eugene, Oregon, for more than 30 years.

CAHOOTS stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, and represents a way of helping people in crisis and experiencing non-urgent medical issues that is professional and humane, with a focus on empathy and the provision of a highly tailored service.

It’s a service model that is fully endorsed by the Lompoc Police Department and would mean the police would be freed up from dealing with mental health issues, homelessness, health and welfare checks, substance abuse crises, and non violent conflict situations.

Close to 20 percent of the time the police currently spend responding to these kinds of “social work” calls, they could then allocate to reducing crime, and promoting public safety in Lompoc.

The Lompoc Police Department is currently understaffed and overwhelmed by service calls, so not only would a CAHOOTS-type program improve services to the most vulnerable in the community, it would fully enable the police to do the work that is their core mission.

Please do what you can to help us secure this funding for what is a crucial set of services designed to improve public health and public safety.

J. T. Turner

Vandenberg Village

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