Calif. Highway Patrol Official Calls for Increased Mental Health Training
On Wednesday, California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow said the state's CHP officers need more mental health training, the Sacramento Bee's "The State Worker" reports.
At a meeting of more than 100 advocates, lawmakers, public health officials and law enforcement agents, Farrow said that CHP needs to "work on" how officers handle individuals with mental health issues.
The meeting came after a CHP officer in July was recorded repeatedly hitting a woman with mental health issues. After the incident, Farrow promised to implement changes in the way CHP officers deal with individuals who have mental illnesses.
CHP's current training is in line with state police training standards, according to "The State Worker."
Specifically, CHP cadets go through eight hours of training on how to interact with individuals with disabilities and take part in two hours of scenario training. In addition, officers in the field undergo an extra eight hours of crisis intervention training.
Before additional training can be implemented, CHP must determine:
- How much information officers need to know and who makes that decision;
- How to fund the additional training;
- Whether officers across counties need the same training; and
- Whether such changes require legislative approval (Ortiz, "The State Worker," Sacramento Bee, 11/12).