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    Bernard Meltzer, posted by HBas

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In Canada, a shocking 40% of civilian shooting deaths at the hands of police involve people in a mental health crisis.

A new documentary, Hold Your Fire, explores the reasons why officers who signed on to serve and protect somehow end up shooting a vulnerable person.

Through their families and friends, Hold Your Fire reveals who some of these people really were, aside from their illness and the tragedy that ended their lives.

The documentary looks at how police training and response to people in crisis went off track, and shows how progressive police services are striving to get onto a better path.

To watch Hold Your Fire, tune in to CBC Television's new documentary series FIRSTHAND on Thursday January 21, 2016, at 9 pm in each time zone (except 9:30 NT)

Join the Twitter chat at 9pm ET: use the hashtags #HoldYourFire and #CBCFH to share your thoughts and stories.

More info:

CBC info page: http://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/hold-your-fire

Trailer: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Firsthand/ID/2675819921/
 

David Baxter

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Re: Documentary on Canadians with Mental Illness Killed by Police - Thurs on CBC TV

The broadcast of Hold Your Fire has been delayed again pending completion of a trial. We will update you with the amended broadcast date when we know.
 

David Baxter

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The documentary, Hold Your Fire: Documentary on Canadians with Mental Illness Killed by Police, is finally set to air this week on Thursday, January 21, 2016, on CBC's Firsthand, 9.00 pm/9.30 Newfoundland.

See attached flyer :acrobat: for more details.
 

Attachments

  • HoldYourFire.pdf
    91.1 KB · Views: 4

Mari

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I watched Hold Your Fire and found it interesting but somewhat disturbing. I was familiar with each of the cases presented and certainly one hour was not enough time to adequately cover the topic. I would suggest caution in viewing it because of some very graphic content. I loved the facial expressions of the UK official viewing one of the videos since it is not common for the police there to use firearms and yet they successfully deal with difficult situations.

Education and attitude are major factors in how people in crises are dealt with not only by the police but by every personal interaction. There are certainly many considerate and caring people as shown in the documentary but I think that Canada has a very long way to go in improving how people with mental illness are treated. If you click on "CBC FIRSTHAND" in the Attached Files link given above, the information there is probably as good as or better than watching the film.
 

Daniel

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Outrage over brutality and calls to 'defund the police' in U.S. cast new light on Toronto police budget
June 4, 2020

...Speaking to reporters Thursday, [Toronto police chief] Saunders spoke about the strain on the police service, saying, "Why do we do over 30,000 calls for mental health? We are law enforcement."

But when asked if he would be willing to take a hit to the police budget to free up more money for community groups doing that kind of work, Saunders wouldn't answer directly.

Over the past 12 years, Saunders said, police have been the de facto service in terms of responding to mental health crises across the city - especially between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"Right now, we've got a responsibility, and we've got a role, and that role is to keep the community safe. Now, we need other agencies to help offload those responsibilities ... then we can start talking about reduction.

Until then, he said, "It would be naive to reduce police officers."
 

David Baxter

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Actually, I agree with him for the most part. Unless the individual is actively threatening others, why is this not the purvue of mental health services?
 
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I AGREE police do not have the training in most cases they do more harm then good. There needs to be a mental health team that is willing to answer calls all times of the day and yes that means night time as well a team that does not tell people to not call at night only for emergency. A team that will be there for anyone that calls because maybe to them it is not an emergency but to the person calling it is and could be a breaking point for them when they are turned away.
 

David Baxter

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It could even be a special squad within the police force that has actual training in managing aggressive mental health patients - they should receive the same sort of training nurses, especially psychiatric nurses get in patient management and de-escalation and they should be dedicated to this role lime other specialties, not mixed in with traffic duties or criminal offenders.
 
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[POLICE for me so scary they are taught aggression not compassion they harm seen it in my own family how they harm and escalate the fear and anger in a person not only with mental illness. IF they had a team of mental health providers where they went out together not alone i think no lives would be taken i could be wrong but police are to aggressive so aggressive.
 

Daniel

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Yeah, I think working together would be ideal in some circumstances. When I worked at group homes, we had emergency numbers for mental health crisis teams that work in the community. But usually by the time we needed them (which was very rare), they said to call the police since things had already escalated, and they did not want their staff at risk. So it would be great if they could be there with the police.

The good thing about group homes is no one has a gun and anything sharp is usually locked up, so the police were pretty relaxed anyway. The "violence" is usually towards objects, like TVs, rather than people.

But 20 years ago or so, when my brother was suicidal and had a gun, I went to see him by myself. The last thing I would have done is call the police, and his wife at the time felt the same way (possibly after dealing with the police before). And he voluntarilty gave me his gun, which I knew he would. (Of course, he should have never been able to get a gun to begin with, given his history of psych hospitalizations for wanting to kill himself.)
 
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Daniel

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Suicide by cop: What motivates those who choose this method? | MDedge Psychiatry
Current Psychiatry
May 2017

SBC [suicide by cop] presents a specific and serious challenge for law enforcement personnel, and should be approached in a manner different than other crisis situations. Because many individuals engaging in SBC have a history of mental illness, officers with training in handling individuals with psychiatric disorders—known as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in many areas—should be deployed as first responders. CITs have been shown to:

  • reduce arrest rates of individuals with psychiatric disorders
  • increase referral rates to appropriate treatment
  • decrease police injuries when responding to calls
  • decrease the need for escalation with specialized tactical response teams, such as Special Weapons And Tactics.
 

Daniel

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I just thought of an idea for a comedy movie: A cop with a therapist as a patrol partner :)

More seriously:

In new approach to policing, St. Louis cops get partners on patrol | Law and order | stltoday.com
Dec 30, 2019

The 19-year-old seemed bewildered by the visit from St. Louis officers who were accompanied by two volunteer community health workers interested in connecting her with social services...

Research on the program’s impact is limited, but some measurable data exists for domestic violence calls.

Researchers found that families that received visits in 2006 and 2007 were more likely to call the police about new domestic incidents in the ensuing 12 months. And those new calls were more likely to focus on verbal altercations or violations of court orders instead of violence that flared.

Researchers also found that families that received visits felt safer and more positive about the police than families that received standard 911 police service, and were more likely to get mental health and other support services for their children.

It was generally found that pairing officers with social workers greatly increased morale for both, as each felt more effective at their jobs, Hahn said.

“They feel more effective intervening with kids who they otherwise might feel they have little to offer,” she said.
 
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Daniel

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This police chief is hiring female officers to fix 'toxic' policing.
The Washington Post

There’s Wrigley, who was inspired to become a cop as a teenager after watching the 2000 film “Miss Congeniality”; Brandy Valdez, a former ballet dancer and maid who sought her badge after leaving what she calls a “patriarchal marriage” and has a talent for calming and reassuring victims of sexual assault; Chatelle Ogea, a rookie officer, former social worker and current Army reservist; and Pam Volk, who resolved a recent dispute between a woman and her substance-abusing granddaughter by recounting her own experience living with an alcoholic.

Bellevue, the third-largest city in Nebraska, is experiencing “the complete opposite of what everybody else is dealing with,” Maguire said. “I don’t know exactly how Chief Clary is doing it. But whatever magic wand he’s been able to use down there, I would suspect that a bunch of other departments are going to try.”
 
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