Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A man shot dead by police in the absence of the special unit for people in crisis

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Winnipeg police are trying to extend the hours of the crisis program.


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Winnipeg police shot and killed a man exhibiting “erratic behavior” last weekend during a police response. Indeed, the 19-year-old had mental health problems, according to his family.

This incident occurred in ;absence of the special unit for people in crisis situations, called Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC).

This program pairs health professionals with police officers to support people in crisis.

The objective being to defuse situations and #x27;avoid potentially deadly confrontations with police.

However, a shortage of mental health clinicians has delayed plans to increase hospital hours. #x27;opening of the program to include weekends.

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Currently, the program only operates between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. , Monday to Friday.

According to the executive director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Chris Summerville, it's a more sensitive and humane way to respond to people who are thought to be experiencing or experiencing a mental health crisis.

However, police say that increasing the opening hours of this crisis unit might not have made it possible to ;avoid the deadly shooting, which took place on New Year's Eve.

Launched in 2021, the Manitoba government decided last June to inject an amount of $400,000 to expand the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC) program. , 5 to 7 days of intervention per week.

Last September, Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said police were having trouble finding enough clinicians to cover overtime.

In October, the ARCC program hired two additional employees to provide coverage seven days a week.

At the Police Board meeting of Winnipeg on Dec. 8, Smyth said the program will soon expand its coverage.

I know that another group of employees have been recruited by Shared Health, and I expect that they will begin to integrate with us as they move forward. #x27;they are moving forward with their process, so that we have seven days of coverage, specifies Danny Smyth. Canadian Schizophrenia Society Chris Summerville believes the service should be available whenever people are in crisis.

It is not possible to establish schedules based on periods when people suffer from mental illness.

A quote from Chris Summerville, Executive Director of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada

According to A Shared Health spokesperson said the unit only responds to non-criminal, non-emergency crisis situations.

This unit is deployed once police confirm such a situation, according to Winnipeg police spokesperson Dani McKinnon.

Therefore, according to her , the situation that occurred on Sunday afternoon would not have met the ARCC deployment criteria.

Five agents are currently assigned to this unit.

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