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Reducing violent incidents between police officers and people with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders

Pollack HA, Humphreys KN. Reducing violent incidents between police officers and people with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 2020 Jan 1; 687(1):166-184.

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This article describes evidence-based strategies designed to reduce the prevalence of police encounters with people in behavioral crisis (PBCs) and to make such encounters less dangerous for all parties when they do occur. Some of these strategies are implemented by law enforcement, including gun violence restraining orders and the training of officers to provide time, distance, and cover during encounters with PBCs. Other strategies involve broader systems of community care, including assertive community treatment for people with serious psychiatric disorders, and critical time interventions for individuals leaving incarceration or inpatient psychiatric care. Broader adoption of such strategies should both reduce the risk of police shootings of PBCs as well as improve the effectiveness and well-being of police officers.

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