I think a reasonable analogy for police interventions in mental illness cases would be safety barriers and cars. When we need them to stop something, the situation is bad, and someone is probably going to get hurt. The time for the actions that gave a better chance for a good outcome have passed. The institutions mentioned in the article as not being more critical of police actions are no doubt aware of this, as they are aware that prevention and treatment would require changes in how support for the mentally ill is provided and funded. I’m not sure the will and resources to do this are available.

Tom Heyns


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