SF police getting crisis intervention training

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For quite some time now, I have showcased many articles that show the trend of utilizing the police to deal with the mentally ill instead of getting them treatment.  Our prisons and jails are filling up with people who are obviously ill and who act differently from the norm.  Here is another article from San Francisco, CA that talks about how police there are going to receive “training” to be able to deal with mentally unstable people.  Well, on the one hand, I am all for teaching our police to be more empathetic and human in their dealings with people–that cannot be bad.

But on the other hand, if my family member was acting in a dangerous way on the street would I really want them to have to deal with a member of the police force that has had maybe a few classes about mental health issues or would I want them to be taken to a mental healthcare center where doctors and nurses are available 24 hours a day to help my family member?  Hmmmmm.  Not a hard choice to make, is it?

So here’s the article. Please read it and let me hear your thoughts on the topic.


(02-11) 04:58 PST San Francisco, CA (AP) —

Up to a quarter of the San Francisco police force will be getting crisis intervention training as part of an effort to deal with potential dangers involving the mentally ill.

The Police Commission unanimously approved the plan Wednesday night. The vote comes about five months after a commissioners met at a retreat and decided officer interaction with mentally disturbed people would be a top priority in 2011.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the plan is based on a Memphis police model set up in 1988. Officers trained to deal with psychiatric problems would be called to the scene to deescalate situations with agitated, delusional and frightened suspects.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, www.sfgate.com/chronicle

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