Re: Awaiting Answers, July 20.
In light of the article on Hudson Brooks, I think it’s an apt time to advocate the importance of having mental-health strategies in the police force.
Many police shootings are the result of conflicts with emotionally disturbed individuals. If there had there been the assistance of a mental-health professional, I think Brooks would still be alive.
It’s vital that police officers are provided with enough training to manage such situations, without the use of violence, until a mental-health professional can become involved – either providing advice via phone or in person.
The Surrey RCMP needs to create their own mental-health strategy, not just for the sake of its community but for its officers as well. There isn’t a shortage of plans to draw on. The Surrey RCMP could base their own program on existing ones in place in Vancouver and Ottawa.
Some may argue the integration of such a program could require a fair amount of money and time, yet if it saved at least once life, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Savannah Chanel, Surrey