Indianapolis police create behavioral health units

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has created behavioral health units pairing specially trained officers with mental health experts to find people in crisis and divert them to appropriate programs and services.

WRTV-TV reports data showed the department not only an increase in mental health runs, but many repeat calls to the same addresses.

Law enforcement professionals say as many as half of the people arrested wouldn’t be if not for their mental illnesses. Once in jail, taxpayers pay for $700,000 in psychotropic medications, $2.1 million in extra security staffing and $5 million for medical personnel to treat mentally ill people.

Tracey Lomax, one of IMPD’s new behavioral health unit officers, says many people are happy the police department is providing the service.

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