A drunken man with post-traumatic stress disorder yells at police, and a 9-year-old girl with scissors threatens to kill her teacher in an elementary school classroom.
This week, the scenarios weren’t real, but local police officers say the situations are ones they often face.
Fifty police officers, probation officers, jail correctional officers and other law enforcement workers were trained in helping people who struggle with mental illness and substance abuse.
The goal was to educate officers who can be called to specific situations, provide training on issues police deal with regularly and to share with the public how they can get help.
The training has been around for more than 20 years and recently was done in other central Indiana communities. Sheriff Doug Cox thought the training would be useful in Johnson County after seeing inmates come to the jail who needed to be in a hospital or treatment facility.
Some were damaging the jail. Others were exposing themselves to female employees repeatedly. He said those incidents added
criminal charges to what the suspects initially had been arrested on, keeping them in jail longer.
“A lot of people in jail really should be in other treatment facilities,” Cox said.