Efforts to shift some emergency response tasks away from the police department in Evanston took a step forward Tuesday evening.
Aldermen approved the appointment of seven people chosen by the mayor to form a new Alternative Emergency Response Subcommittee.
The subcommittee will be chaired by Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, who also is currently chair of Human Services Committee, from which the proposal for the new panel emerged.
Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, who chaired Human Services when the idea of having a social worker and paramedic respond to mental health related emergency calls emerged from debate over defunding the police department, will also serve on the new group.
The other members are:
- James Barnett, community outreach manager with Connections for the Homeless, who holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Patti Capouch, executive director of Impact Behavioral Health, who holds a master’s degree in social work from Louisiana State University.
- Maureen McDonnell, executive director of Peer Services, who holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Kristen Kennard, director of social work at the Moran Center, who holds a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago.
- Evangeline Semark, chief marketing and communications officer at the McGaw YMCA, who holds a master’s degree in organizational and multicultural communication from DePaul University.
The Human Services Committee voted at its Aug. 31 meeting to recommend that the full City Council allocate $200,000 in next year’s budget to create a pilot program to test teh alternative emergency response strategy and that the subcommittee be appointed to develop specifications for how the program would operate and to coordinate it with existing resources for residents experiencing issues with homelessness, mental health or drug addiction.