New Crisis Intervention Policy

Well, this is good news.

A new policy for the Seattle Police Department aims to change how officers handle crisis situations with people who are mentally ill or under the influence. The crisis intervention policy, which takes effect Monday, is part of the city’s federally-mandated police reforms.

A key component calls for officers to de-escalate a situation whenever feasible, in line with standard law enforcement practices.

I hope this has a real change in the interactions with people with mental illness, not just some window dressing for the Feds and the public. The department has been resistant to change, and a new policy alone isn’t going to be enough. The actions of the police will be the final measure.

Still, this new policy will include gathering measurable data, so even with the need to temper it above, I’m also hopeful.

Comments

  1. 1

    Pete spews:

    A key component calls for officers to de-escalate a situation whenever feasible, in line with standard law enforcement practices.

    This is common sense. Every frontline social service agency trains its staff and volunteers in this stuff. The fact that previously, apparently, deescalation hasn’t been the policy explains why several people have died, probably unnecessarily, in recent years. It’s also an indication of just how fucked up SPD has been, and how little accountability the various mayors and council members have demanded.

  2. 2

    SeattleMike spews:

    Are they going to stop using ‘shoot them in the back’ as a de-escalation strategy?

  3. 3

    spews:

    This is a general police problem… the failed War On Drugs and post 911 nonsense have militarized the police force nationwide. Its no longer about “protect and serve” its about “respect mah authoritah!”