Survey Details Phoenix Police Response To Mental-Health Crisis Calls

Published: Monday, April 10, 2017 - 4:10pm
Updated: Monday, April 10, 2017 - 4:19pm

In August 2014, a Phoenix police sergeant shot and killed Michelle Cusseaux, a mentally ill woman who answered the door with a hammer when officers came to take her to an inpatient psychiatric facility.

The shooting sparked widespread community outcry, as questions swirled about the department’s training to deal with people with mental illnesses.

It also prompted extensive reforms within the Phoenix Police Department. The department created a Mental Health Advisory Board, and a new unit dedicated to crisis intervention.

The Show’s Lauren Gilger joins us with details on a new survey by the city about how Phoenix police responds to mental-health crisis calls.

The city is holding a town hall this afternoon where they’ll release the results of this survey. They talked to more than 600 people to get an idea of what needs to be done to help improve police response to people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

And this all started after the shooting of Cusseaux, according to Erica McFadden, director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and Christian Johnson Nunes, chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues.

They both helped carry out this survey. They asked officers about how often they respond to crisis and how often they’ve been trained to deal with people in crisis. And they talked to people who were receiving mental-health treatment as well.

The results of the survey will be released this afternoon at a public forum at Steele Indian School Park’s Memorial Hall. 

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