One of the jobs of a cop is to deal rationally with those who are irrational. Even as the crime rate in San Diego drops, police are reporting that this part of their workload is not shrinking.
In fact, the police chief says the number of calls involving mental-health issues is actually growing: Last year, the number of reports of suicide attempts or suicide threats rose by seven percent.
These cases are a major challenge for police officers, who may only get a few hours of training in how to deal with mentally ill people.
In our story, we talk to a cop about life on the beat and take a step back to examine the state of mental-health services in the county. And we hear from a non-profit that trains cops and provides clinicians to help police in mental-health cases. This year may be its busiest ever.
In other news:
- The San Diego school district’s proposal to slash teacher salaries by eight percent left teachers cold. How chilly are they? Well, the teachers union made a counteroffer of a 1.6 percent pay cut in return for three annual furlough days and a host of concessions. And the teachers want the money to be paid back.
- We’ve got more details in another post.
- Also in education news: Patrick Henry High may get a new auditorium after all.
- We know you may not have a chance to visit our site every day or even every week. (To steal a line from a movie, we grieve over this fact on long winter evenings.) But if you do happen to have a spare moment, check the page we’ve set up for our “Out of Reach” special report about the gaps in the county’s safety net for the poor.
- We’ve just added a few new posts. In one, we check in with a woman we profiled who is trying to get food stamps for her family. In another, we hear from the executive director of the San Diego Hunger Coalition.
- If you’re curious about the report that we commissioned from our partners at The Rose Institute, we have more facts and perspective from a lead researcher who worked with us. (This is the report that gave us the numbers underpinning the series.)
- You can also watch our reporter Kelly Bennett talk about the series on NBC 7/39.
- The San Diego Fact Check Blog examined claims about San Diego’s information technology system and a claim mentioned in our “Out of Reach” series.
- The Photos of the Day honor departing Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson.
- In a story it touts as an exclusive, the NCT says: “The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office continues to take in millions of dollars more in property taxes than is owed and then lags in returning the money to taxpayers, according to a 2009 audit.”
The audit came out in March but wasn’t made public.
- The U-T continues to cover the brouhaha over a port commissioner’s use of the word “negos,” a slang term that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with that other word it sounds a lot like. Also in the U-T: Lindbergh Field is spending $2.3 million on public art, and Balboa Park police horses are up for auction.
- Finally, KPBS says Tijuana companies are trying to empower residents by placing billboards around town with messages like “Tijuana is a consequence of our actions” and “In spite of everything, Tijuana keeps moving.”
I’d like to adopt a version of that last one for myself. Maybe it would empower me to get off the couch.