Smart move; Deputizing mental health professionals saves lives.

Deputizing Mental Health workers

I think the first two paragraphs in the article say it all.\:

When law enforcement and mental illness collide, the results are often painful for both sides. Nationally, more than a half-million people with mental illness are behind bars. These unfortunate folks are often jailed for nonviolent offenses.

Even worse, sometimes the results are tragic, as in the local case of Steven Hayes, who died this June when Nassau Bay police shocked him three times with a Taser because he was shouting and pounding on a table. Hayes was bipolar, according to his family, who said he had never before been violent.

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