Officers become ‘expert’
I can sympathise with police commissioner Andrew Coster when he says police officers are not mental health experts, although that statement is not quite true. Most violence crimes have a mental health factor either initiating them or exacerbating them. Thus, police officers of any good length of service become, or should become, “expert” in dealing with mentally distressed persons simply by dealing with such situations.
Police used to be recruited from persons who had had successful histories of para-police work, such as ex armed forces personnel, school teachers and the like who have become “expert” in dealing with people under stress or who have had problematical backgrounds.
While there used to be minimum IQ requirements for police recruits, it was never so-called “high IQs” who made the best police, but those who had an “intrinsic intelligence” which was heightened through dealing with people under stress.
Even in today's “wally regimes” where no one has any degree of responsibility in dealing with our more difficult mental health and social issues, police do a good job generally. However, police are regularly stymied when they seek help from the actual mental health “professionals” for those who are suicidal or have mental health issues.
The general public would be frightened to hear the true stories of mental health “gatekeepers” pushing away those needing help, with ridiculous claims that there is nothing which can be done for people with drug problems, or those who have actually injured themselves or attempted suicide cannot be admitted for treatment because they have “not quite crossed the threshold for needing in-house treatment”. Some of those turned away eventually do kill themselves, and frustrated cops scramble for the desk jobs.
Ex police NCO