Daniel Prude Was in ‘Mental Distress.’ Police Treated Him Like a Suspect.

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However Mr. Alexander, who can be a scientific psychologist, stated the Rochester police positioned much less significance on the coaching after he and Mr. Weaver stepped down from the division within the mid-2000s.

“We left the playbook to continue this program,” he stated. “It is clear that that never took place.”

Final month, after the footage of Mr. Prude’s arrest gained nationwide consideration, Rochester officers introduced plans to kind disaster intervention groups that would come with clinicians and social staff and would reply to calls of individuals beneath psychological stress and decide if the police are wanted. Different cities have began utilizing related groups with some success, together with Denver; Olympia, Washington; and Eugene, Oregon.

“We’re trying to work and move into a direction where what happened to the Prude family will never happen again,” Councilman Lightfoot stated.

In New York Metropolis, 16,000 officers have gone via a 4 days of “crisis intervention training” since 2015, together with position enjoying, lectures and conversations with people with psychological sickness who’ve had encounters with the police. (The coaching was suspended this 12 months after the division confronted pandemic-related finances cuts.)

Officers with the New York State’s Division of Prison Justice Providers stated recruits in cities like Rochester are required to take a 20-hour course titled “the Fundamentals of Crisis Intervention,” the place they learn to reduce using pressure throughout psychological well being calls.

Phillip Atiba Goff, founding father of the Middle for Policing Fairness, a assume tank at Yale College, stated that whereas coaching might help, most officers are ill-equipped to make the appropriate choices when confronted with mentally sick individuals.

“There is no way you can train police officers well enough that they can be frontline mental health workers, especially crisis mental health workers,” Mr. Goff stated. “It’s very clear that if there had been a medical expert there, there also would’ve been different treatment and a different response.”

Troy Closson contributed reporting. Sheelagh McNeill contributed analysis.

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