Mental Health Law Enforcement

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Law Enforcement and Mental Health “One of my first calls on the MHU (Mental Health Unit) was of a gentleman having a psychotic episode. He had hurdled out of my patrol car on the way to the hospital, took off running down the main street, screaming ‘Satan is chasing me God HELP me! Don’t let Satan catch me again!’ all the while he is stripping down to his birthday suit. I can tell you that the mentally ill can be fast and strong when they have these types of episodes. Don’t ever underestimate someone in crisis. You handle these encounters with kid gloves, because, as an officer you never know what you are walking into. The only heads up you may receive is that a citizen may be off their meds, or hearing voices. What starts out as a talking …show more content…

That’s a job for internal affairs and grand jury. I can say this: As a trained officer in Mental Health Officer Proficiency, I can tell you that I damn sure wouldn’t have been that close. I think I would have rounded the front of the car, and held distance, and I would have had my Taser ready, just because you are trained for dealing with mentally unstable individuals. He didn’t give himself a chance or this man a chance for a different outcome.” “Do you think the officer would have handled this differently if he was granted the opportunity of additional training like an MHU?” Miller again takes his time reflecting on the question. They are never quick to lay blame on a brother. He takes another long drag off his cigarette and exhales slowly. “I would like to say he did his best in his current situation, but yes, any officer can benefit from additional training. I am familiar with this case, as many officers in this area are. The officer that shot, well, he only had five years on the force I believe. That is still a rookie in my book, even working a big city like Dallas. But you can’t compare what’s happening on today’s beat like the officer’s beat of twenty years

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