Hayward Police and Fire Departments began implementing new community-safety initiatives in 2021
The City Council directed City staff in May to begin testing and implementing nine high-priority initiatives that grew out of a series of community conversations on policing and public safety that took place in 2020 and a follow-up Policy Innovation Workshop on Community Safety.
The workshop, conversations and an associated public opinion survey were part of a Public Safety Community Outreach Project undertaken in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25, 2020, and the ensuing national dialogue on race and equity in policing and law enforcement in America.
The first of the initiatives to launch entailed piloting a Mobile Evaluation Team (MET), which pairs Alameda County behavioral health clinicians with specially trained Hayward Police Department district command officers to respond to community members experiencing acute mental health crisis. Others include:
- A 911 dispatch needs assessment;
- Improving access to medical, mental health and other supportive services through a new Hayward Evaluation and Response Team (HEART) program, which consists of two separate teams: the MET (as described above) and a new Mobile Integrated Health Unit (MIHU), which pairs a Hayward Fire Department community paramedic with a mental health clinician from a community organization;
- The hiring of a behavioral health coordinator to provide daily coordination of the HEART program and improve the network of resources available to Hayward residents;
- Expanding shelter options and outreach services to unhoused residents through the City Manager’s Office Community Services Division;
- Expanded use of unarmed HPD community service officers;
- Community review of the HPD training curriculum; and
- Establishment of a community complaint liaison position.
A webpage for following progress and implementation and testing of the these and future Innovation Workshop initiatives can be found on the City of Hayward website at www.hayward-ca.gov/HaywardSafeDashboard.