Lawmakers Request Funding for Police Training .pdf

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2017

CONTACT: Tim Townsend
(916) 319-2036

Lawmakers Request Funding to
Improve Police Relations With Mentally Ill
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R–Palmdale) and Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
(R–Lake Elsinore) requested additional funding to train front-line California law enforcement officers to
interact with mentally ill individuals.
“As a 28-year veteran of law enforcement, I understand how difficult it is for officers to safely deal with
a person suffering from mental illness,” said Lackey. “With this funding, families can be confident that
police officers have been trained to help identify a mentally ill loved one and react appropriately.”
There is growing recognition that inadequate training can affect how law enforcement deals with the
mentally ill. According to a study by the Los Angeles Police Department, more than one-third of the
people shot by the LAPD in 2015 had signs of mental illness.
The $15.7 million in funding would ensure that all front-line peace officers have received at least 15
hours of training on interacting with people with mental health problems. The Commission on Peace
Officer Standards and Training (POST) would administer the funds. There are an estimated 72,000 peace
officers who would benefit from this additional training to better serve the nearly 1-in-20 Californians
who suffer from a mental illness.
Lackey represents the 36th Assembly District, which contains portions of Kern, San Bernardino and Los
Angeles counties, including the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Quartz Hill, Acton, Littlerock, Pearblossom,
Mojave, Rosamond, California City, Phelan and Piñon Hills.
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