Isla Vista: Solutions

Published: Tuesday, May. 27, 2014 - 9:05 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 28, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Observations on the Isla Vista tragedy:

1. Rodger's therapists did not complete a 5150 psychiatric hold form. Instead, that responsibility was shifted to minimally trained deputies who barely knew him.

2. Mental health professionals did not accompany the deputies to a red flag call.

3. Deputies did not seem to have conducted a gun registration check on Rodger.

Systemic change is needed. Therapists must complete forms to commit clients who display threatening behavior, not pass the buck. First responder protocol updates and intensive training are needed so that all warning signs are considered and proactive action taken when warranted. Mental health professional/ police partnership responses should be the standard at calls like those of Rodger's. Get creative, use Skype technology.

The state's Mental Health Services Act funds should be utilized to implement the best prevention/intervention ideas. Not all mass murders are preventable, but let's prevent the ones we can.

-- David Keneller, Shingle Springs

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