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'I think it’s clear that we’re not doing well enough': Lancaster mayor takes closer look at mental health services following deadly police shooting

Mayor Danene Sorace is working with partners across the community to address concerns surrounding access to behavioral and mental health care.

LANCASTER, Pa. — After days of protest in Lancaster following the fatal officer-involved shooting, Mayor Danene Sorace continues to ask questions about the state of mental health services in the city.

“Who’s available? What services and support are available outside normal business hours and right now I don’t have a really great answer to that,” Mayor Sorace said.

During a press conference on September 14, Mayor Sorace made an urgent call for increased funding and resources from county and state leaders. She said the shooting of Ricardo Munoz on September 13 highlighted the need for more mental and behavioral health programs across the state.

The Mayor called on Governor Wolf, state lawmakers, law enforcement agencies, and behavioral health experts to work together to find a "human-centered" solution.

“I think for me it was a plea for help to look at the systems that are in place and how we’re doing,” Mayor Sorace added. “I think it’s clear that we’re not doing well enough.”

The city is in the process of hiring a second police social worker. Mayor Sorace is working with partners across the community to address concerns surrounding access to mental health care and other issues affecting residents.

“How are we addressing poverty and making sure people have access to quality and affordable housing? All of these things are part and parcel of our response to the community and this is about meeting the needs of our residents that go well beyond a police response,” Mayor Sorace said.

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