Law Enforcement

2 reasons cops should not respond to non-violent mental health calls

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:38

Author: Booker Hodges

In July 2016, former Dallas Police Chief David Brown said, “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it.”

I could not agree more with former Chief Brown’s statement that we are asking cops to do too much, especially in the area of mental health response.

I have been a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) coach for over a decade and believe the current push for more mental health care training for police officers is a good thing in part. I say in part because after years of experience and research, I do not believe that law enforcement should be responsible for responding to non-violent mental health calls.

As a profession, we are problem solvers. The public and elected officials know this, so they keep heaping societal problems on us with the expectation that we solve them. It is time we start saying no.

There are two reasons why I believe society should stop having police officers respond to non-violent mental health calls:

1. Cops lack adequate mental health care response training

The average psychologist has between 10-12 years of college education in addition to 3,000 hours of supervised training. A licensed mental health care professional has between 7-8 years of college education in addition to hundreds of hours of supervised training.

By comparison, a police officer who attends a CIT course receives 40 hours of formalized training. Most police officers receive far less than 40 hours training afforded to those who attend CIT training.

Yet despite this gap in training, society expects police officers to show up and handle mental health calls with the same precision and expertise of a mental health care professional. This is an unrealistic expectation.

We are setting police officers up for failure by continuing to send them on calls that, in spite of our best efforts, we can never train them well enough to handle.

2. Law enforcement brings the tail of the criminal justice system

There is a consensus within society that the criminal justice system is not the appropriate place to handle those who suffer from mental illness.

In light of this, it makes no sense to send police officers – who bring the tail of the criminal justice system with them – on calls involving non-violent mentally ill individuals.

The chance of a non-violent mentally ill person being interjected into the criminal justice system increases when they come into contact with police. Our jails are full of people suffering from mental illness who have no business being there, yet society keeps sending them because there is no other place for them to go.

We have taken away the places where those who suffer from mental illness can get access to the mental health care they need. Instead, they have been fast-tracked into the criminal justice system. We are not serving the best interest of those who consume mental health services or society by continuing to have police officers handle calls involving non-violent mentally ill people.

I propose two solutions to this problem:

1. Develop mental health care response teams

We need teams of trained mental health care professions and social workers who can respond to all calls involving non-violent mentally ill individuals.

These teams should be available 24 hours a day just like police officers. By having these teams in place, we would not expose consumers of mental health care services to the criminal justice system at the same rates as we currently do.

These teams would be responsible for taking care of placing those individuals who experience a violent mental health episode after law enforcement officers secure them.

Establishing these teams would go a great way toward removing law enforcement from encountering non-violent mental health sufferers in an enforcement capacity.

2. Focus on de-escalation training

The current push for mental health response is good, but we should focus more on de-escalation training, which is different from CIT training.

Although we often intertwine these terms, de-escalation training focuses on giving police officers the tools to defuse potentially volatile situations involving agitated individuals.

Police officers can use de-escalation techniques to defuse situations involving individuals suffering from a mental health crisis, but dealing with someone who is just angry is different from dealing with someone who is mentally ill.

It is time to start having the conversation about what mental health response looks like without police involvement. This discussion may spur much needed progress toward coming up with a logical and practical solution to this ever-growing problem.


Categories: Law Enforcement

How to Add Drone Policy and Procedure to Your Department

Officer.com - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:32
Drones can be beneficial for your law enforcement agency. Keep usage professional and efficient by creating standard guidelines and a plan.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Latham Man Accused of Filing False Claims for Unemployment Benefits

State - NY Police - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:09

Onnn September 11, 2017, the New York State Police - Troop G Latham BCI arrested James Christensen for Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing 1st Degree, all felonies.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Court rules against officers who sued over Seattle PD's UOF policy

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:08

By PoliceOne Staff

SEATTLE — A federal appeals court unanimously voted Tuesday to uphold the Seattle Police Department’s use-of-force policy.

A group of nearly 125 officers filed suit claiming the policy violated their Second Amendment rights to use their service weapons for self-defense, the Hill reported. The policy, adopted in 2012 as a part of a DOJ reform agreement, required officers to use "objectively reasonable force, proportional to the threat or urgency of the situation." They were pushed to use de-escalation techniques when possible.

The officers, who filed suit without the support of the police guild, stated the policy elevated the rights of criminal suspects over police, KOMO reported.

The court disagreed with the officers’ argument, stating that the policy was constitutional under the Second Amendment “because there is a reasonable fit between the [Use of Force] Policy and the City of Seattle’s important government interest in ensuring the safety of both the public and its police officers."

"The City of Seattle has a significant interest in regulating the use of department-issued firearms by its police officers, and the [Use of Force] Policy does not impose a substantial burden on the Second Amendment right to use a firearm for the core lawful purpose of self-defense," Judge William Hayes wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel in Mahoney vs. City of Seattle.

The city said the new use of force policy “has been a critical component in transforming policing for the residents of Seattle."

The officers argued that input from the police department was refused during the drafting of the new policy.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Wis. senator calls for investigation after student releases video portraying cop being beheaded

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:06

By PoliceOne Staff

MADISON, Wis. — A state senator is calling for an investigation and disciplinary action after a University of Wisconsin-Madison student released a video portraying a beheading of an officer dressed as a pig.

Eneale Pickett released the video to promote his social justice clothing line, WISC reported. The video, combined with sounds of President Donald Trump’s speeches and protests, shows a cop dressed as a pig being beheaded. One of the sweatshirts displayed in the video says “I would ask for justice, but she’s helping the cops burn my body.”

Sen. Steve Nass said in an email obtained by WISN that the video is “vile [and] anti-police” and he wants a full investigation into the video.

"Is this free speech? This is not free speech when you're inciting violence. This is like yelling fire in a crowded theater," Nass said.

Pickett said it was meant to start a conversation of police brutality. University officials have spoken to Pickett, but it was regarding the posting of the video on a university server. They said it violated a policy governing commercial activities.

University officials told WISC that while they may not agree with the message, they “appreciate and respect people’s opinions and their right to free speech.” They said no investigation has been launched because “no crimes have been committed.”


Categories: Law Enforcement

Body camera captures officer's rescue of suicidal man dangling from window

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:05

By PoliceOne Staff

TRENTON, N.J. — Body camera captured the harrowing moment an officer rescued a man dangling from a highrise window.

Police were called to investigate a woman’s death earlier this week, ABC 6 reported. Investigators said the woman died of natural causes. Officer Freddy Jimenez heard her husband distraught, talking to himself in the next room.

When he entered the room, he found the man dangling from the eighth floor window.

"I'm here to help you, grab my leg," Jimenez can be heard saying. "I got you, my friend. I don't want you to die."

Jimenez said the man seemed to change his mind when the officer offered help, saying he didn’t want to die. Police Director Ernie Parrey said Jimenez’s quick-thinking saved the man’s life.

"With everything that's going on in the world, especially in respect to policing, doing what's right or wrong in the world, that's what the Trenton Police Department is about," he said.

The man is recovering in the hospital.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Albany Woman charged with Abusing Unemployment Benefits

State - NY Police - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 12:02

On September 13, 2017, the New York State Police - Troop G Latham BCI arrested Serena Lanoue, 34, of Albany, for Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing 1st Degree, all felonies.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Video shows crash that led to fatal OIS of deaf man armed with metal pipe

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:45
Author: Booker Hodges

By PoliceOne Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY — Surveillance footage released Wednesday shows the events leading up to the fatal shooting of a deaf, nonverbal man armed with a metal pipe.

Video obtained by KOCO shows a green truck being hit from the side, tipping over and landing back on its wheels. The driver who caused the accident drove off and the truck followed.

Police received calls of a hit-and-run accident and discovered the truck involved parked in front of a home.

Magdiel Sanchez, who is deaf and nonverbal, exited the residence with a metal pipe, police said. He confronted police before one officer shot him and another deployed a TASER. Sanchez died at the scene. Investigators said his father was involved in the accident.

Witnesses told KOCO they believe Sanchez was confused because he couldn’t hear the officers. Neighbor Julio Rayos said he and his daughter were yelling that Sanchez couldn’t hear them because he was deaf.

Police Chief Bill Citty told the Associated Press that the shooting raised “a lot of concerns” about officer training for interaction with people with hearing or speech problems. He plans to meet with advocates to work toward better training.

Citty said the shooting is “something that’s tragic either way,” and offered condolences to the Sanchez family.

The officer who fired the shots is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The Sanchez family has hired an attorney to represent them.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Video shows accident that led to fatal OIS of deaf man armed with metal pipe

Police One - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:45

By PoliceOne Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY — Surveillance footage released Wednesday shows the events leading up to the fatal shooting of a deaf, nonverbal man armed with a metal pipe.

Video obtained by KOCO shows a green truck being hit from the side, tipping over and landing back on its wheels. The driver who caused the accident drove off and the truck followed.

Police received calls of a hit-and-run accident and discovered the truck involved parked in front of a home.

Magdiel Sanchez, who is deaf and nonverbal, exited the residence with a metal pipe, police said. He confronted police before one officer shot him and another deployed a TASER. Sanchez died at the scene. Investigators said his father was involved in the accident.

Witnesses told KOCO they believe Sanchez was confused because he couldn’t hear the officers. Neighbor Julio Rayos said he and his daughter were yelling that Sanchez couldn’t hear them because he was deaf.

Police Chief Bill Citty told the Associated Press that the shooting raised “a lot of concerns” about officer training for interaction with people with hearing or speech problems. He plans to meet with advocates to work toward better training.

Citty said the shooting is “something that’s tragic either way,” and offered condolences to the Sanchez family.

The officer who fired the shots is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The Sanchez family has hired an attorney to represent them.


Categories: Law Enforcement

Opioids Are Killing Too Many People to Autopsy All the Bodies

Forensic Magazine - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:25
NewsThanks to the nation’s out-of-control opioid epidemic, New Hampshire's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner can’t completely autopsy every body anymore. It’s been getting too many.Contributed Author: Carter Sherman, Vice NewsTopics: Toxicology
Categories: Law Enforcement

Maine Judge to Weigh Death Declaration for Missing Toddler

Forensic Magazine - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:18
NewsAuthorities have uncovered no evidence that toddler Ayla Reynolds is still alive despite the more than 1,000 leads they’ve received since her 2011 disappearance, state police said Thursday.Contributed Author: Associated PressTopics: Unsolved
Categories: Law Enforcement

Albany Man Arrested for Filing False Unemployment Claims

State - NY Police - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:17

Albany Man Arrested for Filing False Unemployment Claims

Categories: Law Enforcement

Atlanta Officers Hailed as Heroes for Rescuing People Trapped in Burning Car

Officer.com - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:15
When Atlanta police officers found a car engulfed in flames and two men trapped inside, they had no time to coordinate a plan.
Categories: Law Enforcement

State Highway Patrol Graduates 23 New Troopers

State - NC Police - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:09
Friday, September 22, 2017

The State Highway Patrol proudly welcomed 23 new troopers at a graduation ceremony for the 142nd Basic Highway Patrol School. The celebration ended 15 weeks of extensive academic and physical training.

NYPD Rescues Man Aboard Oil Tanker

Officer.com - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:03
The aviation unit responded to a distress call from an oil tanker after a crew member was left unconscious following a fall from an upper deck.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Live Instagram Video Leads Police to Suspect in Killing

Forensic Magazine - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:03
NewsA teenager suspected of a killing who was named one of Texas' 10 Most Wanted fugitives was caught in Los Angeles on Tuesday after posting a live video on social media, police said.Contributed Author: Michael Balsamo, Associated PressTopics: Digital Forensics
Categories: Law Enforcement

LAPD Officer Killed in Motorcycle Crash Mourned

Officer.com - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:47
LAPD Traffic Investigator John Gasparyan was killed in a crash in Porter Ranch Thursday night.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Illinois Court Upholds Murder Conviction of Drew Peterson

Forensic Magazine - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:30
NewsThe use of hearsay testimony to convict former Chicago-area police officer Drew Peterson in the death of his third wife was proper, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday in upholding the conviction.Contributed Author: John O'Connor, Associated PressTopics: Witness Testimony
Categories: Law Enforcement

Bronx men face charges after traffic stop on Bruckner Expressway

State - NY Police - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:30
?On September 21, 2017, at approximately 3:40 PM, State Police at Manhattan stopped a vehicle for improper display of license plate and illegal window tinting  on the Bruckner Expressway at Rosedale Avenue in the Bronx. 
Categories: Law Enforcement

To Catch a Pedophile, You Only Need to Look at Their Hands

Forensic Magazine - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:06
NewsWhen a pedophile or rapist films their crime, professor Sue Black can track them down using nothing more than the veins, scars and other markings on their hands.Contributed Author: Richard Benson, Wired UKTopics: Biometrics
Categories: Law Enforcement

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