training police to deal with the mentally ill

The weekend saw a man Michael Eligon, 29, shot by Toronto police who [presumably] judged him to be a danger to himself and or others and needing to be controlled with a bullet. Early reports said Michael was wearing a hospital gown, having earlier been in East York Hospital ,  was  carrying two pairs of scissors and surrounded by fifteen armed police officers and eleven cruisers. Whatever did happen, surely  it need not have ended this way.

Only a  few days ago Globe and Mail reported on approaches developed in Memphis and Albuquerque, in the US  and now being adopted by Canadian police forces – including Edmonton, Hamilton and North York Police –  to train police officers better to deal with people who are experiencing emotional distress.

“While some police forces say they lack the resources for extra training, others, such as Ontario’s York Regional Police and the Edmonton Police Service, are making it a priority.”

To Police Chief Bill Blair – when will you bring this to Toronto for your officers?

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