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Two Bills from Councilor Davis signed into law by Mayor Berry

Last week, Mayor Berry signed two new bills into law, both of which were sponsored and led by City Councilor Pat Davis.

The first closes a gap in state law that prohibited police officers from investigating some threats against schools and public places made via social media. School resource officers and school personnel from Highland High School first raised this concern with Councilor Davis after an incident at the school earlier this year. Davis wrote the ordinance and led it through the city’s legislative process.

The second provides for an innovative new approach to dealing with “down and out” patients who suffer from over intoxication and minor medical issues. Previously, each call like this was treated as a Priority 1 requiring a full police and fire/rescue response.

“This program provides basic medical care for low-needs patients and removes the criminal stigma associated with the homeless and mentally ill who most often need these basic services,” says Davis. “This is a compassionate way to address chronic health problems and by sending dedicated teams to address them, we free up our advanced life support and police officers for our most critical incidents.”

Police and fire teams handled more than 14,000 of these calls as Priority 1 cases last year. Those emergency response teams are now free to respond more quickly to more pressing life-threatening cases.

Last week, the Mayor signed:

  • O-16-26:Adoption of a new section of ROA 1994 Ch. 12, Article 2 proscribing any person from communicating violence or a threat against schools or public places, or causes evacuation, lock down or disruption, other than a “bomb scare”.
  • R-16-69: Establish a pilot Basic Life Support rescue program and protocols for Fire BLS Rescue Units to provide first-response services for non-life threatening medical calls, including persons suffering from intoxication and substance abuse in public places, and provides an appropriation of $100,000 of existing Fire Department funds for purchase of supplies and equipment.