If someone calls 911 in Boston because of a mental health crisis, the response may no longer automatically be for the city to send a police officer to respond.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey introduced a pilot plan Thursday intended to de-escalate some emergency calls by amplifying the role of mental health workers rather than relying on police to handle every situation.

Janey said the program follows several months of analysis, including public forums.

“The community engagement process affirmed the importance of distinguishing between how we treat calls about mental health and how we treat calls about public safety,” Janey said. “Each call should have a response tailored to its purpose.”

The pilot program includes different response models, based on the nature of the call.

In calls about a mental health crisis that are determined to involve a safety risk, specific police cars will be dispatched that include both an officer and a mental health clinician. Those “co-response” cars already exist, but Janey said they currently can be sent to any kind of call.

“So we are making these mental health teams available for the calls that would benefit from their presence the most,” she said.

The co-response pilot will begin this fall in Charlestown, downtown Boston and Roxbury.

A second model would send EMTs to respond to mental health calls, paired with mental health workers.

“This approach does not involve police officers and has been implemented in cities across the country,” Janey said. “This frees up police officers to focus on violent crime rather than on mental health calls.”

The city is also looking into developing a third model that would include a response by trained community members.

The pilot program is being funded with $1.75 million from the city’s Health and Human Services budget for fiscal year 2022.

“I want to make clear that the investment of $1.75 million is not going to the police budget,” Janey said.

Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Peter Messina voiced his support for the plan.

“Our role in this is very straightforward,” Messina said. “We've had co-response in the city of Boston for 10-plus years now, but it hasn't been formalized. This formalizes that process. It's been a fantastic working relationship with all the different agencies involved.”

911 dispatchers will be trained to determine which is the appropriate response for each call.

“So when that 911 call comes in, the dispatcher is going to say, ‘all right, this call has some sort of a mental health nexus to it,’” Messina said. And if necessary, “they’ll hail that car with that officer and that co-response clinician.”

Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley was optimistic that adding mental health clinicians to calls could help calm certain situations.

“They can perhaps help to manage some of the scenes a little bit better, bring a little bit more information, inform the officers and us in better ways to handle some of these scenes,” he said.