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Police have stepped up training for mental health responses, but challenges remain

Members of law enforcement are often called to intervene when people with serious mental illness are struggling, and the way officers handle such a situation can be the difference between tragedy and a positive outcome. But there’s a growing realization that putting too much of the responsibility on police for those efforts is not enough and needs modification.

And though cities like Tempe have recently announced efforts to step up training and focus on mental health issues, it can still be a challenge.

To discuss the obstacles, The Show spoke with Amanda Stamps, a longtime Mesa police officer and program coordinator for the department’s Crisis Intervention Team.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.