Couple years ago, a show I was on sent the whole writers room on ride alongs. The majority of the calls were to deal with someone having a mental break, with or without the means to hurt themselves or others.
Although “means” were things like a pair of scissors a scared kid had grabbed at school or a distressed person punching a wall or hitting themselves, not guns.
The cops hated these calls. They didn’t feel equipped to handle them, didn’t feel like they were the ones best suited for the situations. Because they weren’t.
They’re difficult situations to deescalate, and unlike a peaceful protest, you can’t approach them in full military gear and go to town with a baton or explode an eye with a rubber bullet.
The cops wished there were more mental health professionals they could call to deescalate the situations, more treatment facilities where these people could get the help they needed.
But in LA, there is no one else who can answer these calls. And any programs or departments that offer real help are being cut or furloughed. While the LAPD is about to receive 54% of the general funds in the city’s budget.
What if instead, we #DefundThePolice and use that money to hire and train professionals to help those in desperate need rather than to give the LAPD, who do not want to be called to those scenes, even more money.
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