Reporting on US National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Joanne Silberner presented a story about police officers handling incidents in which they encounter people with emotional and behavior disorders who are behaving in ways that appear threatening to the officers. Although her story uses adult cases for illustrations, this topic should also be of interest for youths who have EBD and for the families of children with EBD.
Here’s an excerpt from Ms. Silberner’s report.
It’s a situation no one wants to see: An armed police officer is called because someone is in the throes of a psychotic episode. “How the officer handles that situation can have a significant impact,” says Russell Laine, head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The IACP held a two-day meeting recently to discuss how officers should respond. On the first morning of the meeting, there was a silent period for attendees to write the names of officers or people with mental illness who had lost their lives in an encounter. There were about 75 people in the room, and about four dozen names went up on the board. National statistics, though, are hard to come by.
I am glad that this topic is receiving press coverage. And, I’m even gladder that the IACP is discussing it. The topic is one that should be widely discussed, as educators and other public service agents need to cooperate in providing secure environments for children and youth with EBD.
Read Ms. Silberner’s story. Also see my earlier posts on this topic: