When responding to a call, police officers often are faced with individuals who experiencing mentally illness or suffering from trauma. Equipping officers with the best tools and training to keep everyone in the encounter safe is vitally important.
In addition, giving police officers and prosecutors tools they need to rely on public health solutions rather than prison or jail, will reduce the burden on taxpayers while increasing public safety.
For example, an estimated 23 percent of Michigan’s incarcerated population suffers from serious mental illnesses. In many cases, we could better serve people with mental illnesses in our communities, so they never need to enter the criminal justice system. Crisis intervention training for police officers or first responders and expanded access to mental health courts are two examples of smart, safe policies that promote public safety.