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Alternatives to the Police (ATP)

ATP List of Resources PDF to download

When appropriate, the organizations listed below may be used as effective alternatives to calling the police or 911. These local and community-led organizations can provide emergency, crisis services, and/or interventions in order to address situations in which  people may otherwise call the police. All of these services are free and confidential. 

If you are having a crisis and wish to avoid contact with law enforcement, the Counseling Center’s 24/7 Crisis Line (718) 687-5356 will directly connect you to a licensed professional who can engage with you in the best way possible. 

Mental health professionals are mandatory reporters and subject to state and federal laws. As such, they are required to  contact or involve law enforcement in the case of child abuse, abuse of a vulnerable adult, or if they determine there is an imminent risk of violence.

 In situations where there is a threat of imminent harm or danger (e.g. fire; intruder in your home; threat of violence; brandishing of a weapon, etc.) or health emergency (e.g. heart attack; serious physical injury), to yourself or others, contacting the appropriate emergency response agency (i.e. police, fire, EMS) by calling 911 will likely prompt the most immediate response.


  1. Is there a threat of imminent serious harm or danger? Is this an emergency that requires an immediate response?  Could someone be seriously injured if I don’t respond immediately?
  • ​If yes, call 911 immediately.  
  1. Can I put up with this and be okay?
  • No. I need to respond.
  1. Can I handle this on my own, is this something I can try and talk out with the person?
  • No. I need back-up.
  1. Is there a friend/professor/staff/advisor or someone whom I can call to help me out?
  • No, I need a professional.
  1. Can we use mediation to talk through what’s happening or is there an emergency response hotline I can use?
  • No.
If I call the police do I understand how involving the police could impact me and the other person(s)?


There may be situations where there are appropriate alternatives to contacting the  police.  Some individuals may feel more threatened than protected by police officers – and there have been situations where police response has exacerbated a situation and caused grave harm to individuals.

Following is a list of resources you may wish to consider as alternatives. These alternatives are not intended to address  all situations. If you or someone else is in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.


New York Peace Institute

CALL: 718-834-6671 (Brooklyn)

212-577-1740 (Manhattan)


M-W: 12pm-8pm Th-F: 9am-5pm


NYC Well

CALL: 1-888-692-9355

TEXT: “WELL”  at 65173

  • Free & confidential mental health support
  • 24/7
  • 200+ Languages
  • Phone/text/chat access to mental health and substance use services

New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline

CALL: 1-844-863-9314

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741

  • Serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via text.

Disaster Distress National Helpline

CALL: 1-800-985-5990

  • 24/7
  • Crisis and emotional support for people experiencing distress and other mental health concerns


These resources are not intended for use when there is an immediate threat of physical harm to yourself or others.  Rather, they are provided as sources of support for victims of domestic violence.  If you or someone you know is facing an immediate threat of violence, calling 911 can provide the most immediate response.  

Violence Intervention Program

CALL: 1-800-664-5880

  • 24/7

Safe Horizon’s 24hr Domestic Violence Hotline

CALL: 1-800-621-4673

Safe Horizon’s Community Program Helpline

CALL: 1-855-234-1042

M-F 9am-5pm


Safe Horizon’s Crime Victims Hotline

CALL: 1-866-689-4357

National Runaway Safeline

CALL: 800–786–2929


Safe Horizon’s Rape & Sexual Assault Hotline

CALL: 1-212-227-3000 (NYC Only)

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

CALL: 800-656-4673


NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

CALL: 212-714-1141

  • 24 hrs.

LGBT National Help Center Hotline

CALL: 888-843-4564 

  • M-F  4pm -12am, Sat. 12-5pm 
  • Free & confidential peer support and local resources

Trans Lifeline

CALL: 1-877-565-8860

  • 24/7
  • Staffed by transgender people for transgender people
  • For transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm


NYC Poison Control Center

CALL: 212-764-7667

  • 24/7

NYC Well

CALL: 1-888-692-9355


National Detention & Abuse Reporting Hotline

CALL: 209-757-3733 (from outside)

M-F 6am-8pm PST

  • Free
  • Find & Connect to Family
  • Monitor Abuse
  • Elevate Stories
  • Connect to Resources

Law Enforcement Support Center Detainee Hotline

CALL: 855-448-6903

  • 24/7 & Toll-Free
  • Translation services provided
  • Will assist in contacting federal immigration authorities for detained persons who believe they may be victims of crime and for U.S. Citizens or residents being unlawfully detained

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) Hotline: 

CALL: 1-844-500-3222

United We Dream

CALL: 1-844-363-1423

TEXT: 877877

  • To report a raid
  • M-F 6am – 9pm PST

Immigration Equality

CALL: 1-212-714-2904

  • National LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Legal Emergency Help
  • M-F 9:30am-5:30pm

Immigrant Defense Project Hotline

CALL: 1-212-725-6422

  • For people or families of those facing in detention and/or facing deportation

Immigration Legal Help

CALL: 1-800-354-0365

  • Free, safe immigration help from ActionNYC


National Human Trafficking Hotline

CALL: 888-373-7888

TEXT: “BEFREE” or “HELP” at 233733

  • 24/7
  • 200+ Languages
  • Trained and experienced Anti-Trafficking Advocate will speak with you about your needs, options, resources
  • Anonymously report tips, seek services, and for help. 

Safe Horizon Anti-Trafficking Program

CALL: 718-943-8652

  • Culturally and linguistically sensitive services
  • Supportive counseling and empowerment groups
  • Assistance with basic needs
  • Legal Assistance
  • Advocacy through the criminal justice system
  • Linkage to shelter/housing options and other services