Delegates To Consider Mental Health Units In Law Enforcement

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore delegates are weighing in on a bill that would create a pilot program for police behavioral health units.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, is on the delegation’s Friday’s agenda.  It was approved by the Senate 46-0 and is scheduled for a hearing before a House committee next week.

The legislation as amended would establish behavioral health units within the Baltimore City and Baltimore County police departments. The units would be comprised of at least six officers who are trained to handle incidents involving people with mental disorders or who exhibit substance abuse signs.

The officers, according to the bill’s language, could help those individuals get treatment rather than risk an unnecessary or violent encounter with law enforcement.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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