Elimination of mentally-ill training for SFPD raises concerns 

Following high-profile incidents involving cops and the mentally ill, questions are being raised about whether the police officers' loss of training on how to handle the mentally ill is resulting in bad choices in the field.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who chairs the Board of Supervisor’s Public Safety Committee, introduced a hearing Tuesday to address this issue.

"There have been a number of high-profile incidences ... where the police department has responded to people with mental health needs," Mirkarimi said. "And unfortunately ... in some cases, what resulted was either the shooting of those particular people, or an escalation of force was used in a way that many believe should have been perhaps reconsidered."

The San Francisco Examiner has previously reported on  some of the challenges facing the department in dealing with the mentally ill and the loss of training due to budget cuts.

“We need to revisit what the strategies are going to be in order to deal with the community that also requires another specialized attention," Mirkarimi said. "We have to do what we can to find the resources to sensitive the city government and more importantly law enforcement.”

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