Crisis team created by police in Montreal to intervene with the homeless and mentally ill

Montreal police receive around 140 calls a day involving the homeless or people with mental health issues, and the service needs more help in dealing with these cases, said Montreal police chief Marc Parent.

That’s why the police force has created a new crisis intervention unit known by its French acronym, RIC. Its creation is part of a new plan by police to deal with people with mental illnesses crafted after the downtown health and social services agency spent a year working with vulnerable people on the streets.

“Fifteen years ago, it would have been unthinkable for the police and mental health intervention workers to get into the same patrol car to get to an intervention with homeless people,” Jason Champagne of the CSSS Jeanne-Mance told Radio-Canada.