Los Angeles Police Department To Train Officers To Better Manage People With Mental Illnesses
Los Angeles Police Department officers in April will begin taking Internet courses to help them recognize common symptoms of mental illnesses and appropriately address situations involving people with such conditions, the AP/San Luis Obispo Tribune reports (AP/San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3/21).
The program was "prompted by the police shooting of a distraught transient" in 1999 and "guided by a federal consent decree" issued in 2001, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
LAPD also has developed a crisis-intervention team to collaborate with prosecutors, judges and public defenders to move chronic offenders with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system to the mental health system. In addition, LAPD is working with mental health workers, advocates and community leaders to find more effective ways to handle situations involving mentally ill individuals (Kandel, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/20).
In other mental health news, officials in California counties are drafting proposals on how to use an estimated $250 million generated this year by Proposition 63, the Modesto Bee reports. The proposition, approved by voters in November 2004, increased the state personal income tax by 1% for residents whose income exceeds $1 million annually to fund mental health projects.
Counties must develop three-year plans for allocating funds from the initiative. The initiative said allocations should focus on "clients, integrating treatment programs and helping people not to just cope with mental illness, but to get well," according to the Bee.
Stanislaus County Behavioral Health Director Dan Souza said his county will fund services that help people recover from mental illness, manage symptoms of mental illness and track patient outcomes (Modesto Bee, 3/18).