Denver Police Department- It’s a crazy man’s world now
What’s a cop to do?
So as of last week in Colorado, it will soon be against the law to place people in jail when they are picked up on mental health or suicide holds.
Don’t get me wrong while I am all for this, I am at the same time not for this.
The law which takes effect August 9, 2017 affects all of the state of Colorado, means well, yet it serves no purpose other than to endanger the lives of innocent individuals.
Here is the reality, and trust me I get it, jails should not be utilized to house those that are deemed to have a mental illness or who are suicidal, yet who have not committed a crime that would warrant an arrest. Yet sometimes until the individual can be placed in the right facility, it is a truly necessary evil.
While at the same time hospitals and safe houses like for instance SCL Health, HAF house (Jefferson Center for Mental Health), MCHD, Safe House, Denver General, Aurora Mental Health, and the like, all will flat out refuse to take a potential patient due to the perceived severity of mental issue that particular individual has.
This is a current and quite common practice, so when is the state who already funds most of these mental health facilities, going to tell them they have to now take all types of patients and no longer selectively pick and choose who they treat just because they don’t feel like treating a certain type of patient?
Or was that not part of the plan because no one wants to really address that?
And lets not forget those who are higher than a kite from things like meth. For those of you that think pot, forget it those kids are over at 7-11 getting nachos and slurpees.
In the meantime…
So what’s a cop to do?
So yes, while I get that because of legalized marijuana the state is pouring money into these organizations, what I am seeing because I have friends applying for jobs at each organization daily is, those organizations not hiring.
So where is the money really going? They are not staffing up, because of they had been they would have been hiring a month ago.
Mobilization units? Kids just fresh out of school who have absolutely zero street knowledge?
Don’t knock that, knowledge is power, the more you know the better you are in certain circumstances. And when you have not worked with the criminally insane, the Bipolar, those that suffer severe bouts of PTSD, those that really do hear voices, and the like, on the streets you can’t help them no matter how much school you have had. It’ all first hand. Nothing more or less than that.
The worst most frightening part, what happens when no organization or hospital wants to take a certain patient, the individual can’t be placed, so what happens?
They can’t be arrested or placed, so what they are allowed to saunter off into the night?
Thus potentially going off the deep end and harming themselves or others later?
Why do we continuously place the burden of our ill decisions on the nation’s law enforcement?
So now cops are faced with the decision, “find a reason to arrest the guy i.e, probable cause or place him somewhere if the mobile crisis team shows up and could actually assess the the man or women better than the cop or let him walk, thus putting the community in danger?”
Well the hands of the police are tied as of August 9th. They simply can’t arrest some individuals so you might as well get those welcome mats out…some of those individuals will be hanging out near your front doors.
In case you did not notice that could potentially make the overcrowding jail issue in Denver even worse.
It also makes the jail the poor issue, worse but that goes without being said here.
Several of my closest friends who work in the mental health community cringed as our glorious Governor Hickenlooper signed this into law.
I understand let’s not punish the mentally ill but why not? To prove temporary insanity, takes quite the effort and from what I understand it is a truly rare thing.
So if someone is drunk, high or simply just lost it one day and breaks the law they honestly do know right from wrong, so why not jail them?
Ask APD from years ago. I lost it once and yea I knew and still do know right from wrong despite a temporary loss of my better judgement.
The best part of that story is that the police my own family, knew that I knew right from wrong regardless of my momentary lapse in judgement. They arrested me to help me and you know what?
Most of the time the individual does in face, know what he or she is doing and can very clearly decipher right from wrong.
Mentally ill or not.
The potential damage from this can never be undone.
I reflect on James Holmes. Who’s own doctor cried out for help knowing he was a ticking time bomb.
Where is plan b or c?
When the hospitals or mental health facilities and houses refuse to take the patient? Where is plan B or C? No one ever thinks outside of the circle.
To the beat cops who see this nonsense daily, I feel you, I have your back and more power to you.
You are being placed in one hell of a crap situation, it’s a shit storm brewing on the horizon.
Cristal M Clark