Cops and Hippies

The CAHOOTS program, which sends medics and counselors on certain 911 calls instead of the police, has become a national model in the wake of 2020's criminal-justice protests. But its roots reach back half a century, when a free medical clinic serving the hippie counterculture emerged as a public-health response to drug, mental health, and other non-violent emergencies. CAHOOTS has grown into a 24/7 service that saves Eugene millions in policing and medical spending, and saves many on the streets from unnecessarily punitive interactions with the police.

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