Police Union Wants Mental Health Calls Handled Differently

By  KJZZ News
August 26, 2014

The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is calling for a change in the way the police department handles mental health calls. 

Joe Clure says policies need to change, because it’s not the role of officers to be de facto mental health workers.

“I’m only talking about the mental health detention orders. I don’t think police should be walking point on that. I don’t think we are the right choice for that job. That, in my opinion, is a medical call," Clure said.

Clure’s call for a policy change comes as the Department of Public Safety investigates the fatal shooting of a woman being treated for mental illness who was wielding a claw hammer. 

And the union leader said additional attention also needs to be given to officers who are traumatized by the experience of taking a life and many times suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.