City reviews how police interact with mentally ill suspects
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
A local police department is reviewing policies and procedures focusing on people who have mental health issues.
The policy review stems from the fatal police-involved shooting of a homeless man over the summer.
In light of the shooting death of Milton Hall, the Saginaw Police department is re-examining some of its policies. Hall was killed July 1 by police after repeated orders that he drop a knife. It was later learned that Hall was mentally ill.
The Hall incident was the focus of a discussion at City Hall on Monday night re-examining how police officers deal with the mentally challenged. "Unfortunately, more and more mentally challenged people are being brought into the criminal system, not necessarily because of anything the police are doing, but because the mental health arena isn't adequately addressing the needs," said Saginaw City Councilman Floyd Kloc. "So, police need to be aware of that and I think it's appropriate to review the policy on how they do that."
During a meeting last week, city council approved the purchase of three bean-bag shotguns, a less lethal form of ammunition for officers to use when dealing with situations like the Milton Hall shooting.
A new video in-patrol car camera policy will also take effect Dec. 1. During the Milton Hall shooting, some of the video and audio equipment wasn't working or simply wasn't turned on inside the patrol cars.
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