Fewer California Police Are Completing Mental

Many cops in California are not completing a state-certified program that focuses on the training in dealing with mental illness, suicide behavior, and drug use.

San Jose Mercury News released a report that shows fewer are completing an additional 40 hours of the Crisis Intervention Training courses.

Perhaps this could explain the rash of headlines we read about involving police officers and the mentally ill either being wrongfully treated or beaten. However, with the training or not, it can't begin to excuse or even justify violent and excessive behavior by those sworn to uphold the law and not abuse it.

California Healthline outlines the following:

12% of police officers in Oakland are CIT-certified;
15% of officers in San Francisco are CIT-certified;
24% of officers in Santa Clara are CIT-certified; and
37% of officers in San Jose are CIT-certified.       

For instance, a man suffering from Down-syndrome, was beaten by the San Diego Sheriffs Department, after, Antonio Martinez, did not stop for the deputy and subsequently pepper spraying, and slamming his face into the pavement. Lawsuit. Again, explains but doesn't excuse.

Most of us are familiar with the high profiled Kelly Thomas case. A mentally-ill homeless man, that was beaten to his death by Fullerton police officers. In the Thomas case, few can argue that CIT would help, as he was clearly provoked by officers, who should be undergoing some form of mental counseling themselves.

Whatever the problem is in California and its cops, it needs to be fixed. Perhaps we are living in such a police state that the demand for quantity is greater than quality. Perhaps, California needs a better mental screening of current and future police officers. Regardless, police officers are in the purview of cell phone cameras, and the internet, that can quickly expose police misconduct with a few clicks.

few-calif-police-have-undergone-state-mental-health-training \

Derek Wood at 9:43 AM

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Comment by John Carman on May 14, 2014 at 8:09pm

I am a "former" POST Certified San Diego Police officer(1978-1981) and we had to pass a 2 hour class which was given 5 days a week and ended in 4 weeks.(40 hours) I see no reason or excuse on why a police officer FAILS to attend such a class unless it is NOT in the curriculum of the Academy????

Did the California POST commission change the requirement???

It is probably one of the easiest class.In fact, I remember the title of a book called: Dealing with the Ill, injured or dead. This also included mentally ill.

I would say that more than 50% of ALL crime is committed by "Mentally Ill" or people who are users of illegal narcotics.(Mind altering drugs, including alcohol can allow for serious mistakes in common sense decisions)

Mentally ill; people need to be treated differently than most, but the most comon MISTAKE Cops make is that they forget or FAIL to communicate or Talk to the "subjects". They are in need to HELP and need to go to the local CMH County Mental Health facility.(30-90 days) That includes people who are "suicidal" and need help, NOT a cop pulling his gun cause a man is having a psychotic episode or pulls a tree branch or "stick".

Police have special training in the use of a baton/night stick, chemical mace, tasers, some martial arts, etc...but pulling your GUN is a LAST RESORT.(See "Use of Force" Continuum chart) 

When you see a COP standing on the side of the road with his GUN pulled against a Hispanic couple in a pick up truck, you have to ask yourself...? What did they do? (NOTHING) The Officer does not speak Spanish. After I intervened on that one, I left as his back up showed up. Some people do NOT need to be COPS!!!!

Some of US do need to be in law enforcement. We need to weed out the bad ones and the corruption. The list is endless. I have seen a lot. 

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