Follow by Email

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mental Illness and Policing

Since the early 1990s we have seen increases each year in the number of mental illness calls we respond to. But there is little to no federal and state funding for hospital stays, training for our officers, and everything in between.

State mandates for training police officers has not kept up with the times, and our new officers receive literally no training after college on dealing with the mentally ill. I now know that many of the strategies I used when dealing with the mentally ill were not the best.

We were grateful to receive funding, through the Miller Dwan Foundation a few years ago, to train about 20 officers on the best practices for dealing with mental illness; however, we need to train more, and the money for training is simply not there.

We will continue to look for sources of funding for training; however, this is only part of this complicated issue that has been pushed to the local level. We will continue to work with our local mental health providers and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to ensure we are keeping up with national best practices and standards.


  1. Chief G., at my apartment I had officers respond and an officer ( who happened to be female), when I said I had an Armhs worker, asked me ( rudely) what my Armhs worker thought of me calling the police. I am mentally ill but credible to your team. I felt bad, like she believed I had no mind of my own. I think it is sad that you lack funding here for me and for others too! Please try to address these issues through additional training that is necessary and needed ! Thanks! Linda

  2. Because I am mentally ill, when I found the need to call the Duluh Police Department I was told I was calling and e-mailing too often, which was not right and offended me as well. I wished to have a squad pick something up to bring to the department and called the patol supervisor's line, I was not doing so for nothing or to visit and, when I was sad, had the chief make me sadder, offending me. The misconception that people with mental illnesses call unnecessarily to police has gotten in my way of good communication with you and I feel badly about it! Linda