It is clear that many police incidents such as Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York; Nicolas Chavez in Houston, and the 13-year-old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, in Salt Lake City, are the result of police reactions to mental health situations they can’t handle without escalating an encounter to the point of lethal force.

We are facing a national crisis, now highly polarized by violent extremists on both right and left, damaging to police, business owners, the Black community (which already has hundreds of years of trauma and intergenerational post-traumatic stress disorder) and society as a whole.  It is heartbreaking for the nation.

Many reforms have been proposed.  I do not see, at least in the media, that increased funding for mental health crisis intervention services in collaboration with police departments and other first responders is being discussed at the state or national level.

Maine has been recognized nationally for developing a statewide mental health crisis intervention system that collaborates with police departments and area health care facilities. Are these services adequately funded to meet the needs of our citizens?

It is urgent for Maine, every other state and the federal government to make a full review of funding for crisis intervention training and services. Any inadequacies need to be quickly rectified.

James Harrod

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