Deadly Police Interactions Against Mental Illness Patients In The United States
It appears that many people with special needs or mental illness died from a police interaction in the United States. According to the BBC, 136 individuals were killed by law enforcement with a disability in 2018. The high number of death is very alarming for people with special needs or mental illness. Maybe law enforcement is not the best to deal with these type of situations. Instead, another agency should handle mental illness patients and people with other disabilities.
The solution to solving this issue is to have people with a deep understanding of mental illness and disabilities. Medical agencies should be set up in every city to deal with these type of individuals. If law enforcement or citizen comes into contact with a person with mental health issues a professional with in-depth knowledge and understanding will able to solve the situation more efficiently. The police will call a new emergency number, for example, 111 for mental health or disabilities to deal with the situation. However, law enforcement can contain the area or perimeter to ensure the safety of the public if the situation is serious, but should call professional medical unit to deal with these types of people. There should be advertisement under the new mental health number for mental health and disabilities.
On the other hand, security units can be integrated into the health agency or special police unit within the health agency can be set up to help professional health experts with dealing with mental illness patients or disabilities. These security units or special police units deal with mental illness and disability patients. The arming of these security or police units should be limited instead of a Glock 17 maybe a 7 round 1911, or a 38. Special concealed for extreme cases where the mental health patient can’t be controlled. Regular law enforcement still should receive education in mental illness and disabilities awareness to figure out if an individual is not normal, but suffering a medical issue.
In the end, a new system of dealing with mental illness and disabilities patients should be designed. The regular police should still receive training in mental health and disabilities awareness. However, the new medical agencies would be professional medical experts and have special police or security units that specialize in mental health and disability issues. People would call 111 for mental health and disabilities.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.