Press Release: 2022-05-13
Create Alternatives to Police Response by Taking Action for the ACES Act
Create Alternatives to Police Response by Taking Action for the ACES Act:
We have a big ask for our NASW-MA priority bill, ACES, which is critical to improving public health, access to mental health and social services, and reforming public safety. We need you to send an email of support for ACES to the chairs of the Public Safety Committee.
The ACES Act (S.1552/H.2519) would establish a grant program to enable municipalities and partnering community-based organizations to develop alternatives to police response in emergency and non-emergency situations that do not require the presence of law enforcement. Importantly, these alternative responders would not be paid or housed within law enforcement.
There is concern that the committee is redrafting the ACES Act as a co-response model, which is not what ACES is. Although co-response may be a solution that fits best for some communities, it is not a one size fits all solution. There is state funding for communities that want a co-response model. There is currently no state funding for communities that want an alternative response to mental health calls. This is why reaching out to the committee directly and letting them know you support ACES as is would be immensely helpful.
If ACES is passed with the original language it was filed with, NASW-MA and the Greater Boston Association of Black Social Workers would oversee grant-making criteria and decisions alongside other community-based stakeholders.
Thank you for taking action!
Brianna Silva, MSW
Membership & Advocacy Manager, NASW-MA