DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The City of Durham is adding to its crisis response program.
For almost a year and a half, the holistic empathetic assistance response team or HEART program in Durham, has been working alongside 911 to find a different way to reach the kind of calls that don't need an actual police officer to respond.
Starting Monday there will be more crews on the streets with about 30 new hires.
The program is fully integrated with 911, which still handles all emergency calls.
Dispatch then decides who should respond between police, fire, ambulance or the HEART team.
"Not a lot of the calls need police with mental health substance abuse and that's where we can come in fill a niche," said David Newcomb who works with the program.
The HEART team's already responded to more than 8,000 calls since the launch of the pilot program.