California Forum

The Conversation feedback: Police training

Last Sunday’s Conversation, “When training doesn’t work,” focused on the Salinas Police Department and the Crisis Intervention Team training in Monterey County. Despite intensive training, police officers in Salinas recently shot and killed two people acting irrationally.

We asked readers the question: With police officers called on more and more to deal with mentally ill people, should every officer in the state receive across-the-board training?

From Facebook

Linda MelloCordova – Training, definitely. But more importantly, mental health services should improve so the folks with mental health issues aren’t out in the streets without proper care. Our priorities should be on people, not grandiose things.

Brenda Gage – The training should be mandatory for anyone working in corrections, community corrections and law enforcement.

Kar-ron Wood – This really isn’t the police department’s duty. It is sad that they end up trying to deal with such individuals.

Paul Guevara – Yes, they should.

Kate Shedlosky Xavier – If not, why are there not specialists like “hostage negotiators” for mental health/illness situations? Rather than Crisis Intervention Team training, why not an actual Crisis Intervener? Or maybe the current SWAT team could perform that function – with additional specialized education and training in mental illness.

Susan Ruybal – Bring back the men in white uniforms with nets and restraint jackets for out-of-control people.

Lisa Marie – I still believe bringing back the state mental health system is more beneficial. I guess now we’re back-pedaling and trying to put a Band-Aid on this situation.

Alice Peach Rogers – Yes. I share with my kids that individuals may be having their own issues and challenges, so don’t take others’ actions or what they say personally. With caution, give others a chance and time to say their piece.

Kathleen Dias – Really? Most law enforcement agencies where I live have so few officers for so much territory they already work without backup, and it’s nearly impossible to get time off for training that’s already mandated. They are not mental health professionals or social workers. Call those if that’s what’s needed. If the situation is so scary or dangerous that law enforcement is called instead, then don’t criticize when law enforcement solutions are applied. This is as bad as teachers being expected to be CPS, parents, health care professionals and educators, last on the list. Just fix the mental health system.