Mental Health Training Is Not Benefiting Police Officers
By Trissean McDonald
Police involved shootings are becoming more frequent these days. In numerous cases, these shooting incidents are sometimes prompted by individuals that may be mentally impaired or disabled.
On January 31, 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department, after receiving reports of a male suspect stabbing three people, opened fire on the man in Hollywood, California, where the suspect was pronounced dead.
One of the victims, a bicyclist, was stabbed around 2:00pm along the north side of Sunset Boulevard near Ivar Avenue, according to LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado. The suspect then continues down Sunset Boulevard, making his way to a coffee house, where employees held the doors closed for their safety. Unsuccessful in his attempt to get inside the coffee house, the suspect goes east of Sunset Boulevard, where he stabbed another man at a “Jack In The Box,” according to the LA Times.
LAPD reportedly confronted the suspect. The suspect, however, was not compliant; resulting to multiple shots being fired at the suspect. “It saved lives,” O’Farrell.
The suspect’s outcome, as well as the victims involved was egregiously dire. Mental health in these situations usually doesn’t prompt an indication of these type of fatal incidents, lest the events subsequently subsides. Also, because of all the radical activities from ISIS.
However, is there a way to train police officials dealing with individuals with mental disabilities? Certainly.
September 14, 2016, LAPD invited the media to participate in a mental health training program to give the media insight on how police officers are being trained to deal with mentally impaired or disabled individuals. However, these type of seminars could be a way to propagandized police interactions with those who are mentally despaired.
There’s signs indicating mental disparities in these individuals by scruple observation. Usually, the signs are alarming upon personal interaction between both police officials and mentally impaired individuals. However, fatal shootings are still increasing amongst these individuals.
As we saw in the case of Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old mentally illed black male, who was shot by police officials after allegedly reaching for an officer’s holster, “Ford, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was walking near his South L.A. home when two officers assigned to an anti-gang unit tried to stop him,” LA Times. Unfortunately, this incident led to Ford’s death.
Even though the state of California , as well as other states are implementing changes within the relationship between police officials and mentally ill individuals, it may perhaps take several years for police officials to master the subject of dealing with mentally ill individuals to avoid more catastrophic fatalities within the mental health community.
If there were perhaps an actual requirement for police officials to pass a 1-2 year course in mental health training before actually being assigned to on field duties, fatal shootings would be at a decrease, and more lives would be saved.
However, until there’s some type of strict reformation assisting in proper mental health training amongst the nation’s police officials, America will not see less killings or more rehabilitation for those who are mentally ill. Instead, Americans will continuously hear the outcries of the nation, as well from the family members who are affected by the lost of their loved one that was mentally ill.