Mental illness plagues many of our homeless neighbors. Their behavior is often interpreted as threatening or at least confusing and bothersome. The Seattle Police Department now has a mental health expert who rides with them, often as the initial contact for a person deemed experiencing a mental health crisis. Perhaps other law enforcement groups will take a look at this model of community policing - and create a compassionate outreach program like it. We all know someone who suffers from mental health challenges; we know that resources are few.
A trained caregiver out in our community can reduce anxiety - for the person on the street as well as officers who are trained and committed to protect their communities.