The momentous public outcry for police reform is the result of police encounters ending fatally, which is notably sixteen times more likely for individuals suffering from mental illness in the United States. These horrific incidents highlight the systemic failings of traditional police departments training and its failure to provide officers with the necessary skills to de-escalate crisis situations involving the vastly overrepresented mentally ill population involved in the United States justice system. This article demonstrates that effective police training involving crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques equip police officers with knowledge and skills that enable them to contrive more positive outcomes for all involved. With a particular focus on Ohio, this article highlights the significant discrepancy between ideal police training and current Ohio requirements, which glaringly fail to require continual police officer training. The article ultimately proposes that the Ohio legislature pass a bill that both requires police officers to complete increased training programs in de-escalation and crisis intervention while providing departments with the necessary funding to make implementation possible. By implementing the proffered recommendations, the State of Ohio has the opportunity to contrive more positive police encounters with mentally ill individuals and the wider community.
"Defunding" the Criminality of Mental Illness by Funding Specialized Police Training: How Additional Training and Resources for Dealing with Mental Health will be Beneficial for All Sides,
35 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol35/iss1/8