'Light years ahead': Spokane police address dizzying number of mental health crises with unique team

Early this month, a Spokane police officer with a master’s degree in mental health counseling waited as a suicidal man told officers to throw him off of a bridge or shoot him.

In an unrelated matter, police arrived at around 3:30 a.m. March 4 at an apartment complex on State Street that serves otherwise homeless people. They realized a man at the scene was in crisis, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

When Neighborhood Resource Officer Richie Plunkett arrived to help the suicidal man, he’d already learned some of the tenant’s history from mental health professionals in the department’s Behavioral Health Unit. The man had just been

→ Continue reading at The Spokesman-Review

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