City shifts from armed officers to mental health experts | September 17, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 17, 2021

City shifts from armed officers to mental health experts

Two pilot programs to launch in coming months

by Gennady Sheyner

When Palo Alto launched an ambitious effort last year to reform police operations and promote social justice, one of the city's major goals was to shift some types of responses away from armed officers and toward mental health professionals.

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Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]


Posted by Mirriam LaPorte
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Mirriam LaPorte is a registered user.

The use of tasers rather than firearms to subdue a mentally disturbed individual are in order and hopefully the PAPD will exercise further restraint in these situations.

Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 16, 2021 at 1:14 pm

TimR is a registered user.

The metal health clinician will basically say that the person having a mental health crisis needs to resume taking their meds, and then bill the city x amount for the opinion. But there's no way to force a person to take their meds, so rinse and repeat, with nothing getting solved.

Posted by Jean Parker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2021 at 2:53 pm

Jean Parker is a registered user.

Will this new program reduce the homeless population in Palo Alto by temporarily sequestering (or confining) the mentally ill in mental institutions?

Simply writing a report will not ease this ongoing social and mental problem.

Posted by No heat
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 16, 2021 at 5:03 pm

No heat is a registered user.

Don't be silly. Tasers get used when the police want to apply pain. If they've got the slightest hint that they are in danger, as when somebody is carrying a butter knife, the PAPD mainly uses firearms.

Posted by Anna Delacroix
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 17, 2021 at 9:51 am

Anna Delacroix is a registered user.

"as when someone is carrying a butter knife, the PAPD mainly uses firearms."

A taser would also work in this potentially deadly and harrowing scenario.

A standardized 007 methodology seems like 'overkill.'

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