In 2019, City Council allocated $40,000 to research the feasibility of launching a program in Oakland modeled after Eugene Oregon Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) model, widely recognized as a non-law enforcement mobile crisis intervention that has seen significant success since its inception 31 years ago.
With the support of the Urban Strategies Council (USC), several stakeholder groups and community members, including people in Oakland’s most impacted communities, engaged in nine months of analysis to determine the best pathway forward. This work resulted in a recommendation for a pilot program in two geographic areas of Oakland.
The Oakland City Council determined during the March 2, 2021 City Council meeting that the City should house the 18-month pilot of the Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO) program within the Fire Department. The Council subsequently adopted a Resolution No. 88553 to this effect on March 16, 2021. On the same day, the Administration provided an Informational Memo to the Mayor and City Council based on the March 2, 2021 direction, and a subsequent informational memo was issued in April 2021.
Intended MACRO Outcomes
- Decreased negative outcomes from law enforcement response to nonviolent 911 emergency calls, especially among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC);
- Increased connections to community-based services for people in crisis, especially among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color;
- Redirection of MACRO-identified 911 calls to an alternative community response system;
- Reduced Oakland Police Department & Oakland Fire Department expenses and call volume related to 911 nonviolent calls involving people with behavioral health, substance use, and unsheltered individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When did the MACRO program launch?
The Program launched on April 9, 2022.
What geographic areas will MACRO cover?
MACRO Serves the whole City of Oakland
The pilot initially launched in East and West Oakland.
The City of Oakland is divided into six zones of service:
- Zone 2 - Deep East Oakland
- Zone 4 - East Oakland
- Zone 6 - Fruitvale / San Antonio / East Lake
- Zone 3 - West Oakland / Jack London
- Zone 5 - North Oakland / Rock Ridge / Temescal
- Zone 7 - Downtown Oakland / Lake Merrit
MACRO Hours of Operation
Current operating hours are 7 days a week, 6:30am-1:45pm [Day Shift].
[Swing Shifts] 2:00-10:00pm are schedules as our staffing permits and are currently being offered at least three days a week, with the goal to expand to 7 days with additional staff.
How to request a MACRO response?
DISCLAIMER: MACRO requests for service are for low acuity quality of life concerns and are NON-EMERGENT and NON-VIOLENT. If an immediate emergency response is required, please call 911. MACRO units do not respond inside anyone's home, a domestic violence call or anything that appears dangerous or violent.
MACRO teams respond to calls about homelessness, some behavioral or mental health calls, noise complaints and people being drunk (and nonviolent) in public.
MACRO units do not respond inside anyone's home, a domestic violence call or anything that appears dangerous or violent.
How to Reach MACRO
If the situation is non-violent and non-emergent,
residents are asked to call 510-777-3333, Oakland's non-emergency line to get a MACRO unit to respond, and in an effort to aid the dispatcher, the caller can stress that the situation appears to be non-violent and that a MACRO unit is desired.
Residents are asked not to call 211, 311, or 911 to get a MACRO response at this time.
A MACRO response can be requested via direct email. MACRO teams will respond to requests for service for homelessness, some behavioral or mental health concerns, noise complaints and people being drunk (and nonviolent) in public. A complete list of MACRO Incident types is listed below. When emailing MACRO please use the template provided:
- Email MACRO@oaklandca.gov
- Subject: "Request for Service @ Address/Location + Call/Incident Type"
- Body: Description of Incident, any relevant history and if possible, a picture.
MACRO Call Types
The incident calls or “call types” will be focused on non-emergency, non-violent, low acuity “quality of life” calls. Meetings between OPD & OFD were convened to review incident types and trends for days/times for service call history in the geographic identified areas for the pilot.
MACRO Crews will respond to low acuity quality of life calls in three categories: (1) Behavioral Health Issues (2) Individual Well-Being (3) Community Disturbance:
Behavioral Health Issues
- Mental Health Concern (Low)
- Mental Health Challenge (Moderate)
- Indecent Exposure (Limited)
Individual Well Being
- Wellness Check
- Found Senile
- Intoxicated Group / Drunk in Public
- Noise Complaint
- Disorderly Juvenile
- Panhandling (Non-Aggressive)
When Should I call MACRO?
It is important to call MACRO at the onset of a behavioral health issue or when there is initial concern for a person's mental health & well-being. The earlier a MACRO team can begin an intervention the better chances are to de-escalate the challenge before an individual is in crisis.
When will MACRO be available 24/7?
MACRO program is currently serving residents on a citywide.
After thorough evaluation of the community's needs, addressing any safety issues, and a clear contingency plan, OFD will consider and plan for a 24/7 deployment.
Elliott Jones, Program Manager, MACRO, Oakland Fire Department, EJones3@oaklandca.gov
Michael Hunt, Public Information Officer, Oakland Fire Department, Mhunt@oaklandca.gov
Dena Delaviz, Data Analyst, Oakland Fire Department, Ddelaviz@oaklandca.gov