Lackey requests funds to train officers about mental illness

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Assemblyman Tom Lackey, alongside Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, requested $15.7 million in funding to train front-line law enforcement officers in the state to better interact with people with mental illnesses.

According to the announcement released Friday by Lackey’s office, there is an increased recognition in California that law enforcement’s engagement with those with mental illnesses can be affected by the adequacy of their training.

“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 in a statement. “With this funding, families can be confident that police officers have been trained to help identify a mentally ill loved one and react appropriately.”

The funding, administered by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, would provide a minimum of 15 hours of training to all 72,000 California front-line police officers.

A Los Angeles Police Department study from 2015 showed that more than one-third of those who were shot by LAPD officers showed signs of mental illness.

According to the statement by Lackey’s office, one out of every 20 people in California has a mental illness.

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