Restore crisis intervention teams statewide

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 - 8:03 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Re "Family grieves, waits for answers in police shooting of Lodi war vet" (Page A1, March 23): The tragic shooting of a war veteran in Lodi highlights the much larger problem of how our law enforcement officers interact with individuals during acute psychotic episodes.

Crisis Intervention Teams are trained on how to assess, communicate and deescalate situations without it turning deadly. Police and sheriff departments eliminated these teams during the recession.

The California Department of Health Care Services has a 2014-2015 proposed budget of $76.1 billion and funds the Mental Health Services Division. We also have spent $11 billion during the last eight years on mental health program through Proposition 63 funds.

Local governments fund law enforcement, but the state should provide funding so every law enforcement organization has a Crisis Intervention Team available 24 hours a day. Our citizenry deserves better than the status quo of police putting 14 bullet holes in a veteran.

-- Joseph Livaich, Sacramento

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