Training program helps police officers balance safety with sensitivity
Ben Bunyi, senior psychiatric social worker with Monterey County Behavioral Health, portrays a suicidal jumper as two officers from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department practice negotiating with him.
Officer Steve Albrecht, retired, San Diego Police
“The emphasis is sort of like ‘armed social work’ where the
clinician tries to find treatment programs, better family support
and medical care for the chronically mentally ill person, while the
officer provides protection and evaluates for criminality
Doris A. Fuller, executive director, Treatment Advocacy
“Fewer officers would come under attack and fewer people with
mental illness would die from these encounters if more people with
mental illness were getting the treatment they need when they need
Lt. Jim Uptegrove, retired, Galt Police
“Mental illness or not, officers are dealing with the situation
as it unfolds. There aren’t going to be any allowances because the
person has mental illness.”
Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:00 am
In North Carolina, an 18-year-old diagnosed with schizophrenia was shot and killed by police who were responding during a crisis.
In Montreal, police reported that a 41-year-old man with an unidentified mental illness was brandishing a hammer when officers caught up with him — behaving erratically and smashing windows. When he jumped atop a squad car, officers shot him at least four times in the chest. He later died at a hospital.
Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:00 am.