“There will always times when police officers encounter those with mental health needs especially in times of crisis and social disorder. Training and education offer the best hope for safe and efficient handling of cases. A continuum of options for detox, dangerousness assessment and symptom management must be readily available – but here in Massachusetts they are not”
2 thoughts on “The use of force continuum follows the principle of causation by guiding police decision making based on the level of threat”
And Massachusetts is one of the more enlightened states, if not the most enlightened state. My concern is that in an era of restricted budgets — cutting Federal funds to states and pushing obligations from the Federal to state level — training and education will be sacrificed.
Vic Crain your comment about Massachusetts was once correct. When the state hospitals all closed in the 1970’s thousands of patients became stranded without care. I met Roberto Jimenez, MD in San Antonio in February. Dr Jimenez asked the same question: what happened to the community mental health centers that were supposed to provide catchment. Instead many have been funneled into state prisons and county jails. Dr Jimenez and I both trained at Boston City Hospital – he a few years ahead of me. I respect his thinking and the fine work he has done in San Antonio. Thank you Mr Crain for your intelligent observations.