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INDIANAPOLIS — Officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are testing a new tool that helps identify someone who may be suffering from mental illness.

The tool is the first of its kind being used by officers. Its purpose is to help officers determine if someone needs treatment or care, rather than going to jail.

Ten officers currently have the web-based tool, which can be accessed from their phone or laptop. 

The officers are in the first phase of the testing, which means they’re testing how easy the tool is to use and if the questions asked are clear, according to a press release. 

The second phase will begin sometime after the first ends in January, and will test whether the results of the screening match with what deeper assessments find.

The tool was developed through a partnership between IMPD, the Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety, and NYU’s Criminal Justice Innovation Lab, and is part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s plan for comprehensive criminal justice reform.

“With this tool, officers will be able to better identify those in crisis, saving taxpayer dollars and creating more positive outcomes for our community as a whole.” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

(Photo by Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)