The level of risk that members of law enforcement face every day cannot be overstated. Many of us would run from the situations that officers are expected to run into.

As the national news continues to bring us stories of police departments under review and U.S. Department of Justice findings of racial bias, NAMI Maine wishes to praise the work of officers involved in a recent incident in Monmouth (“After retreating from a standoff, Monmouth police convince man to seek mental health treatment,” March 11).

Responding to a call of a person in a mental health crisis requires a different approach. The recent situation demonstrates how well things can end when officers are given the support and training they need.

Officers responding to the individual in Monmouth elected to allow the individual time to de-escalate rather than using deadly force. The individual in crisis willingly sought treatment when given the space and time he needed by the officers. The outcome of this difficult situation was truly impressive.

NAMI Maine is pleased to partner with law enforcement all across the state, and we are proud to say that every member of law enforcement involved in this situation has received training in mental health.

Four of the officers involved in the situation are certified in the crisis intervention team training model, and two of the officers are certified in mental health first aid.

Jenna Mehnert

executive director, NAMI Maine