CLEVELAND (AP) – A new crisis policy for Cleveland police will allow officers with specialized training to refer some people having a mental health or substance abuse crisis to hospitals and treatment facilities rather than arrest them for minor crimes.
The crisis intervention policy was submitted late Thursday to the federal judge overseeing an agreement between Cleveland and U.S. Department of Justice to reform the city’s police department. The policy is one of the key provisions in a court-monitored agreement reached in 2015 after a DOJ investigation concluded officers had shown a pattern and practice of using excessive force on people, including the mentally ill.
The new policy aims to improve the safety of officers and those in crisis and to reduce the need for involvement with the criminal justice system.
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