Friday, March 7, 2014

On "not looking mentally ill enough": Does our society expect too much from law enforcement officers?

Yes, I think we do. Officers are not therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists.

Sadly, only a very small percentage of the are even trained in Crisis Intervention (CIT).  And, when situations like these unfold rather quickly and unexpectedly, they are not always readily accessible to de-escalate situations in a timely manner.  
A good rule of thumb: When in doubt, heed the family member's warning. We know our loved ones better than anyone. If we are ever able to give you a "heads up", please listen to us! Doing so could prevent future tragedies and save lives.
When we spoke with her she was lucid,” said Police Chief Mike Chitwood. “The children were in the back seat, they were buckled in and were not in distress. Although the sergeant said she looked like she had some mental illness, she did not fit the criteria for going into custody under the Baker Act.”
But family members paint a different picture. Ebony’s sister told police that before the incident, Ebony was rambling about demons.
“Her sister had called dispatch and told them that she (Wilkerson) had been talking about demons that day before she left the house,” Chitwood said.
Ebony Wilkerson: Pregnant Mom Who Drove Kids Into Ocean Had Spoken Of Demons

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