EDITORIAL: Talk, not action (April 23, 2010) - Salt Lake Tribune [LINK] [via TNT]
Crisis Intervention Team training is considered the national standard for teaching law enforcement officers to deal effectively with the mentally ill. The program emphasizes an empathetic approach, scenario-based training, site visits to mental health facilities, interaction with mental health patients and instruction from mental health professionals. Officers are taught to identify characteristics of mental disorders and utilize de-escalation tactics and techniques to provide a safer intervention. ... ...proven effectiveness of the program -- injuries and deaths are reduced, clients are less likely to repeat offenses and more likely to see the inside of a treatment clinic than a jail cell...
Taser International, if they were honestly interested in "saving lives everyday" (sic), would be screaming from the roof tops about this alternative approach to dealing with such incidents (Crisis Intervention Team training instead of just mindless tasering). The fact that they market the opposite, more lethal, more dangerous, less effective approach should make them liable. At the very least it reveals their true nature in a way that is obvious to anyone.
It's nice to see the obvious truth about de-escalation techniques being more widely accepted.
Political and law enforcement leaders should take note. It would be perfectly reasonable and rational to insist upon CIT training (as well as Use Of Force refresher training) before allowing tasers into circulation.
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