Train, plan before the next crisis

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014 - 11:07 am

Re "CHP beating shows officers need training to handle mentally ill people" (Editorials, July 10): Bravo to The Bee for your editorial. For decades, psychiatrists and patient advocacy groups have with law enforcement and communities to better respond to those who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, as they're known, help everyone involved think about the issues, collaborate, put policies in place and have a plan before a crisis. It's an approach that was developed in Memphis and has spread across the country. With an investigation underway, the people of California will soon have a clearer understanding of what happened on that Santa Monica Freeway when the paths of a CHP officer and a woman in need of help intersected. Better still would be to have a strategy and plan before the next such situation. We encourage law enforcement and communities everywhere to embrace CIT training.

-- Jason Young, Arlington, Va.

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