The Yolo Grand Jury recently released an 11-page report, stating the county needed to do a better job with mental health services.
One recommendation they had was for more officers in the county to gain the skills to deal with crisis situations.
Woodland resident Typhe Storm has a bipolar disease and says he’s had many run-ins with the police. Some positive, but some negative.
“When the police did come to my door, I opened the door, I don’t recall the officers name, but he had his gun drawn and pulled and pointed to my head as I came out the door,” Storm said.
He wants officers to find better ways to handle people like him and others struggling with mental illnesses.
“I’d feel safer. There’s times I’ve felt very unsafe. I don’t feel very safe around police to be perfectly honest,” saidStorm.
He’s not the only one who thinks so.
Sgt. Brett Hancock says officer training is already a priority for the Woodland Police Department.
“It assists our offices in recognizing when officers are in crisis and how to communicate with them in a fashion that will avoid them having to become physical,” said Hancock.
The number of mental health related calls for Woodland Police, along with many other police departments, has skyrocketed.
“There’s been almost a 30 percent increase,” said Hancock.
He says he has to pull officers off the streets for up to three days for this type of training.
With a staff of only 60 officers, it’s not an easy task.
“It all boils down to staffing and money. In an ideal world, we’d have everyone attend it in one shot,” said Hancock.