Many non violent situations can get out of hand when police arrive. Crisis situations that may need professional guidance usually are greeted first by the police instead. This can lead to escalation and in the case of today’s current environment, a call for reform. One reform that has been reviewed is utilizing crisis professionals to deal with non violent calls.
The article, “People in behavioral crisis often see police first The first line of response for someone undergoing a mental health crisis is public safety” by Joe Gamm looks at the reality that police are usually the first response to crisis. He states,
“Missouri has become a leader in efforts to equip law enforcement agencies to respond to someone undergoing a crisis. In 2013 and 2014, then-Gov. Jay Nixon created a strategic Strengthening Mental Health Initiative to help communities identify and care for Missourians with mental illness. Efforts of the initiative began to connect Community Health Centers with local law enforcement agencies through use of mental health liaisons — mental health professionals who work directly with law enforcement to provide services when needed. The initiative also emphasized the need to provide training so the agencies could create their own regional CIT.”
To read the entire article, please click here
Training officers for crisis intervention and helping them be able to de-escalate non violent situations is critical for future police reforms. Certain calls need different approaches. They need different equipment and different training. This can reduce deaths of citizens in behavioral crisis at the hands of the police.
Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program and see if it meets your goals and standards.