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Phoenix chief: Officers to get mental health training

Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 15:29:05-04

PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix's police chief says members of her department must undergo training in mental health issues under the latest reform rolled out to improve accountability and trust.

Chief Jeri Williams said Monday the hundreds of officers who patrol the streets of the nation's fifth largest city must attend an eight-hour "mental health first aid" course over the next two years to help them better identify people who are mentally ill or have substance abuse problems.

The National Police Foundation recommended exploring better ways to deal with the mentally ill after finding Phoenix had 44 officer-involved shootings last year, more than any other agency.

Phoenix also is deploying 2,000 body-worn cameras for a force approaching 3,000 members and now requires officers to keep records of when they point their guns at people.