Last year, on average, once every 2 hours Omaha police were sent to a call involving someone with mental health issues, several thousand calls in all.

And on half those calls police were joined by one of seven so-called co-responders, mental health professionals.

According to police, those experts were initially paid by a private foundation but next year the city will foot the entire bill.

And OPD says there is no going back.  

Deputy Chief Steve Cerveny: “In 2021 the department responded to 4,476 911 calls involving individuals with some sort of mental health crisis…the co-responders directly engaged with 2,369 persons helping to connect them to the most appropriate resource, a very valuable program and we’re proud of that.”

The mental health calls are expected to increase next year to at least 5,000.