In-Depth: RPD updates policies on mental health situations

Updated: March 22, 2021 05:47 PM
Created: March 22, 2021 04:24 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Police Department is updating its policies on officers and mental health situations.

The department Monday mandated requiring all employees to know the difference between mental hygiene detention and a mental hygiene arrest.

Having officers be able to tell the difference between the two was part of new policies chief Cynthia Harriott-Sullivan says will now be rolled out every other week.

RPD's updated policy references New York's mental hygiene law.

For cases where a person appears to be mentally ill and likely to hurt themselves or others, state law allows officers to take that person into custody and take them to a hospital or psychiatric program.

After an assessment from medical professionals, officers can detain that person in a "safe or comfortable place" temporarily.

They are then required to contact the director of community services in that city.

For Rochester, that call would go to the Department of Recreation and Human Services.

It's also important to note that this refers to cases where the person is not charged with any crime.

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