Law enforcement agencies across the country have developed several avenues of action set forth to successfully deal with situations involving those with mental illness. According to the Police Chief magazine website, the current approaches generally fall into four categories (crisis intervention teams, comprehensive advanced responses, mobile crisis teams, and teams of mental health professionals and law enforcement officers.) Law Enforcement depends on the community to also do their part for a proactive approach in helping those in need to gain medical attention before illness becomes severe.
Police are not trained to recognize sociopathic, psychopathic, nor nuerotic personality disorders. They are only trained in using force to maintain order, no matter what the cause of the social danger is. It would be good if police were trained in crisis management for at least a month or two.
Police follow rules when dealing with mentally ill people committing crime, just as police would with anyone. This could be difficult if a mentally ill individual is armed or behaving erratically. Police have been criticized for their extreme use of force in subduing mentally ill people in the past, and some officers have been challenged in court. Police should have tasers as an option. There should be specially trained police officers available on the crime scene in every major city when incidents involving mentally ill individuals occur if there aren't already. Police should take courses to deal with mental health issues every few years. Ill people in a crime setting could be talked into giving themselves up.
There are many issues today that police have to deal with, which they are not equipped to do, due to lack of funds and resources, and mental health issues may just be one of them. Perps with mental health issues likely have to be apprehended in different ways than the straight-up criminal.