The LAPD: Getting It Right. We Need to Give The Mentally Ill Treatment, Not Jail Time.

I want to introduce you to Lt. Lionel Garcia. He was the lead officer of the the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD), Mental Evaluation Unit for seven years until he retired this last April. The unit's officers are trained by LA County Mental Health Care experts the proper intervention tactics for cases involving mental health issues.

Most often those suffering from mental health disorders will call and ask police to intervene in a situation.  And very often, that call for help results in a collision of law enforcement and the mentally ill that has been historically unfavorable, if not tragic. But with the right training, Lt. Garcia's former unit has been able keep incident arrests to 8.5%. That's remarkable and deserves our attention and praise! 

Please listen to the NPR segment on the unit and read the article. As law enforcement, across the nation (often justifiably),  receives scrutiny for their intervention tactics–it's nice to highlight a department that's getting it right.