St Petersburg police have just announced that they will no longer respond to “non violent” calls, but will instead send social workers. Calls that police will no longer respond to:
- Disorderly intoxication
- Drug overdose
- Intoxicated person
- Mental health crisis
- Suicide crisis
- Mental Health Transport
- Disorderly juvenile/truancy
- Disorderly Juvenile at Elementary Schools
- Homeless complaints
- Neighborhood dispute
As a paramedic, I have seen every one of those go south. I would hazard to guess that these go bad far more often than cops do.
By definition, a suicide crisis is a violent call. They are threatening, or at least contemplating, violence against themselves. Since a suicidal person is willing to harm themselves, they frequently have no qualms about taking others with them. Sure, there are suicidal people who are looking for attention, and ones who are only going to take pills. Before you get there, how do you know which one you are getting?
Anything involving intoxication will be handled by social workers? Have you ever tried to reason with a drunk? With a person who is on meth? They can’t be reasoned with.
Overdose? As a medic, I am not going to an overdose call without police to secure the scene.
This is a shit sandwich that is going to get people killed at much higher rates than the handful of police misconduct that happens in a year.