Five years after closing six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is stepping up crisis intervention training for Chicago Police officers and 911 operators to improve the city’s response to emergencies involving people suffering from mental illness.

The police shootings of Laquan McDonald in October 2014 and Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in December 2015 are only the most recent examples of incidents where deadly consequences might have been avoided if police officers and 911 operators had been better trained, said Alexa James, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Chicago.

911 dispatcher is facing disciplinary action for hanging up on LeGrier and failing to dispatch police in response to the young man’s pleas for help, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

 

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