Home » News
Home » News

Mentally ill need help, not SWAT

Published October 9, 2013 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A word of advice to anyone who may have a mentally disturbed relative or friend: Do not call 911 if they are acting out. A SWAT team will most likely be sent, and your loved one will end up dead. We read too many accounts of mentally deranged people barricading themselves at home and ending up being shot by a police officer. We recently witnessed a video of a deranged young mother with a child in her car who tried to breach the White House grounds then sped off to the Capitol, only to be shot dead by security officers.

Our police force, sworn to protect and defend, has become a military organization with itchy trigger fingers. We need to take a fresh look at how we handle mentally ill people. If someone calls 911 to report someone barricaded in their home, or acting strangely in public, a better policy may be to send a mental health team rather than a SWAT team. At least include a mental health professional to accompany the police if the suspect is displaying signs of mental illness. Mental illness should not be a lethal disease.

William R. Adams





Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus