First Responders of Last Resort

The Story

Many seriously mentally ill New Yorkers remain undiagnosed; others don’t comply with their treatment regimens. When these suffering people act out, police are often called to the scene, sometimes with unfortunate consequences. The NYPD has introduced Crisis Intervention Team training to teach officers how best to handle situations where they must deal with “Emotionally Disturbed Persons.” In the absence of a functioning mental-health system for those most in need, the police have become the first responders of last resort.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Overburdened: NYPD officers respond to more than 400 “EDP” calls every day. Read more.

  2. Higher: When untreated, people with serious mental illness have a higher incidence of violence than the general population. Read more.

  3. Avoidable: At least 25%, and perhaps as much as half, of people fatally shot by the police are seriously mentally ill. Read more.

“Community programs serve those who seek and accept treatment. Those who refuse, or are too sick to seek treatment voluntarily, become a law enforcement responsibility.”

Police Chief Michael Biasotti, Past President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police

The Past is Present

Time to Strengthen Kendra’s Law By DJ Jaffe (Spring 2011)

“A new bill would improve care for the mentally ill.”

Twitter Take

And in other news...

“Gov. Cuomo boarded a plane to Puerto Rico Friday morning with a raft of aid workers on a mission to assess the damage wreaked by Hurricane Maria and help the devastated island.”