Policing the police


Thank you for your excellent article, “Experts in de-escalation,” July 2020, explaining how Eugene, Oregon, has been able to avoid unnecessary policing.  This story needs to be sent to every mayor in every city in the country. The program you wrote about, CAHOOTS — Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets — should be a blueprint for every city in our nation, not to take the place of police departments, but to be a separate department to funnel mental health calls to first responders to address disturbances where crimes are not being committed. How many lives could be saved if people who are going through a mental health crisis, drug abuse or homelessness were met by someone who would listen and reflect on what they are going through and assist them in getting genuine help? Maybe it’s already too late. I woke this morning thinking about the picture I saw with the news of “Trump’s troops” (or whatever they are called) confronting peaceful protesters and carrying guns and banners. Obviously, those people need some kind of mental help. It’s hard to make sense of much of anything that’s been happening in our country right now.  

MaryCarol Nelson
Hailey, Idaho

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