Police should be able to respond to any situation with a reasonable and sufficient amount of force. They should always be equipped to handle anything thrown their way, and maybe make sure policemen really know what they are doing. I don't have anything else to say. Blah balh blah balh
Many law enforcement agencies have policies and tactics for responding to situations non-violently regardless of whether the person is mentally ill. However, officers are only going to be able to implement those tactics if they receive sufficient training and have ample experience. Due to strained resources and the need to keep officer numbers at a certain level, most officers in the field do not have the requisite experience, so when faced with such situations they default to a violent response.
Law enforcement agencies across the country must find non-violent tactics to deal with the mentally ill. Some mentally ill people have been killed by police officers who mistook their actions as threats. Law enforcement officers could try tasers and other non-lethal ways to subdue suspects that will not cause serious harm or death.
Or to be more accurate, they need to implement and actually follow the mental health guidlines that they already have. The police should not have been the first responders on the scene. They should have brought medical professionals, as well as someone who was trained to deal with mental health issues.
Yes, law enforcement needs to develop nonviolent tactics for dealing with the mentally ill because many people who are mentally ill do no intend the police any harm. A police officer should understand the situation and call someone who is trained to work with the mentally ill. They will know what to do.