On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council unanimously accepted a proposal by the Felton Institute to provide non-police community crisis intervention services at a cost of up to $2.2 million per year.
The vote came after the council agreed to change the name of the program away from the Crisis Antioch Response Team (CART) and call it the Angelo Quinto Response Team at the suggestion of Councilwoman Monica Wilson.
The two-year pilot program, design forecasted by Urban Strategies Council, is estimated to cost between $1.8 and $2.2 million per year. The funding will come from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and funding has been allocated at $3.6 million. — See RFQ by City of Antioch
The goal is to reduce the impact of the Antioch Police Department where this program focuses on responses to non-violent and non life-threatening response situations—this comes after the city council, in March 2021, directed the city manager to establish a 24-hour health crisis response team for Antioch residents.
In 2020, 4,142 police calls were service calls for homeless-related or mental health/drug related calls. Of those calls, 1,373 were categorized as potentially low-level calls for service.
Councilwoman Monica Wilson stated over the past two years a lot of communities had already adopted a crisis response team to create a better response for mental health crisis response but also for unhoused and having some type of crisis.
“This program could provide a more effective response and allow police to respond to investigating and solve violent crime and other calls while diverting fire, EMS or emergency rooms,” said Wilson who shared her experience in Portland, Oregon.
Wilson then suggested the name charge away from Crisis Antioch Response Team (CART) and call it the Angelo Quinto Response Team.
Councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker thanked the Felton Institute for wanting to come to Antioch and work in the City of Antioch.
“It felt good for you to say you turned down other work to come to Antioch because they didn’t have the right formula,” said Torres-Walker. “I want to say to the Quinto family, you lost your son, that is how we got here. We didn’t get here because politics was a great idea, we didn’t get here fast enough. Its unfortunate and it sounds weird to say your loss has stemmed some necessary change that had to happen.”
Torres-Walker highlighted whatever they called the program it needed to be effective, well resourced and sustainable to make sure no other community member has to lose a loved one and we can help the community with this.
Mayor Lamar Thorpe said the urgency came from the death of Angelo Quinto while saying he met with many police officers and hadn’t found a police officer who doesn’t support this or doesn’t support that their focus remain on violent crime in this community versus responding to mental health calls.
“The beauty of this program is it isn’t just mental health calls, they are responding to low level calls like domestic disputes so we do not escalate a small argument into something bigger than what it needs to be,” stated Thorpe. “I haven’t found an officer who is not for this. If there is one I don’t think they work for the Antioch Police Department.”
Thorpe, who is excited about the program, called this an important step in this effort for the city to take as they watched the “Quinto family be attacked by racists and bigots on social media blogs locally. So I can only apologize for the ridiculously behavior and what they represent because it is not the true value of our community. Our community believes in this not the garbage they are spewing.”
Thorpe called for a council consensus of the name change from CART to the Angelo Quinto Response Team.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica issued a statement on the name change before the vote saying he didn’t want any “friction” between the officers working and the individuals working in this program.
“That is my only apprehension with not keeping this as CART,” said Barbanica. “I am trying to be very sensitive to the fact we have family members here and I very much respect that, but I want to be very straight forward that the Antioch Police Department has been cleared of wrongdoing. I do support this, but there was a lot of Antioch police bashing in here tonight and these officers were there were cleared of wrongdoing. That being said, yes, I will support that.”
The council then agreed to rename the program to the Angelo Quinto Response Team.
The contract was then approved in a 5-0 vote.
Previous Stories on Angelo Quinto:
- Sept. 2, 2022 – DA Report: No Evidence of Criminal Offense in Death of Angelo Quinto
- Aug 20, 2021 – Antioch: Coroner’s Jury Says Angelo Quinto Death an “Accident”, Cites ‘Excited Delirium’
- June 3, 2021 – Bill to Ban Police Use of Restraints that Cut Off Oxygen Passes Assembly Floor
- March 2, 2021 – Antioch Police Chief Holds Press Conference on Death of Angelo Quinto
The working name of the proposed program is the Antioch Care Team (ACT). The desired impacts of ACT are to:
- Improve the City’s response to behavioral health, quality of life and lower acuity medical calls
traditionally responded to by police and fire personnel.
- Address non-life threatening medical-related issues in a pre-hospital care setting.
- Build community trust and relationships by connecting Antioch residents to services and supports
if they want them.
- Reduce unintended consequences, trauma, injury and arrests associated with sworn personnel’s
response to low level 911 calls in the City of Antioch.
It is anticipated that the CART Pilot Program will be contractually managed by the City of Antioch’s newly formed Public Safety and Community Resources Department
Per the Staff Report:
On May 25, 2020, the nation witnessed the brutality of the George Floyd incident, which ignited civil-unrest, peaceful demonstrations, and a collective societal cry for police reform. Cities across the country, including the City of Antioch, have been creatively working and developing advanced innovative best practices in local law enforcement and public services that will improve police transparency and accountability. This approach focuses specifically on non-violent and non life-threatening response situations, where a police response is neither needed nor helpful to involved individuals. In such incidents, and based on research, it has been determined that well trained civilians better serve the
public by developing an alternative non-police response.
In March 2021, the City of Antioch City Council immediately acted by directing the City Manager to establish a 24-hour health-crisis response team model program for Antioch residents. The City Council also engaged Antioch residents and community stakeholders in focus groups and direct interviews to better understand their experience with initial police response, the 911 system and aspirations for new, non-police response strategies. The City Council additionally worked with the Antioch Police Department (APD) to complete a “Data Needs Analysis (DNA)” to evaluate and structure the program design.
The Antioch City Manager’s office contracted with the Urban Strategies Council (USC) to develop a program model and pilot initiative for a non-police response to low level 911 calls for service.
In 2020, 4,142 of total police calls for service were either for homelessness-related or mental health/drug related issues. Of these calls, approximately 1,373 were categorized as potentially low-level calls for service. The number of low-level calls for service could have been resolved by civilian, non-police response, which would have reduced the need for an Antioch Police response. In these types of low-level calls for service it is of greater public benefit to have a non-police response, freeing up Antioch police to respond to emergency and urgent calls for service.
In 2021, the operating name of the proposed pilot program was the Antioch Care Team (ACT). Recently, in order to alleviate any confusion, it has been determined that the Antioch Care Team name be changed to the Crisis Antioch Response Team (CART).
The desired impacts of the CART Pilot Program are to: reduce non-warrant arrests that result during 911 police response; reduce the number of individuals transported to the emergency department for non-life threatening issues; and reduce the number of behavioral health and lower acuity calls.
The purpose for CART is to provide community-focused, trauma-informed, and healing- centered call responses by well-trained non-police personnel who can increase impacted individuals’ access and connection to timely, appropriate, and safe community-based services and resources. It is anticipated that the CART Pilot Program will be contractually managed by the City of Antioch’s newly formed Public Safety and Community Resources Department. CART personnel will also work closely with the Antioch Police Department, County, Fire and EMS personnel. The overarching goal of the CART Pilot Program is to provide residents with a non-police response that allows police to both focus on and respond to major crimes, emergency response and criminal matters.
The CART Pilot Program is expected to operate for a minimum pilot period of two years.
The solicitation period for RFQ No. 030722 opened on March 7, 2022 and closed on April 6, 2022. Two bidders responded which are the Hume Center of Concord, CA and the Felton Institute of Alameda, CA. Written proposals and two rounds of interviews are the basis for the final ranking of providers. The Felton Institute has been identified as the number one ranked vendor through the solicitation process.