Raleigh, North Carolina has shifted towards a kinder, gentler policing strategy to handle calls involving homelessness and mental illness. ACORNS - Addressing Crises through Outreach, Referrals, Networking, and Service - combines five police officers and three social workers to deal with calls that deserve intervention over enforcement. Since August of 2021, ACORNS has handled 1,035 calls and linked 546 people in crisis to resources for mental health services, food, family connections and housing. This year’s budget includes an extra $800,000 for more social workers and officers for the unit. "The rapport, the respect, what you've built in the community and I've since seen your interaction with others: It's amazing," said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

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