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After TN Police Killing on Highway, Nashville Boosts Mental Health Aid

After Nashville police killed a man on Interstate 65, Nashville is expanding a program called Partners In Care to help people who may be in a mental health crisis, reports News Channel Five. "We realize that Partners in Care enjoys a level of popularity that we did not anticipate, it's the right resource at the right time," said Dia Cirillo of the mayor's office; Questions remain about why a mental health expert was not able to be at the scene of the I-65 incident last month. Officers shot and killed Landon Eastep after a half-hour of talking with him when police say Eastep quickly pulled a metal object from his pocket that turned out not to be a gun. His wife had previously reported that Eastep saw delusions.

This isn't the only time police have responded to situations with people likely experiencing psychosis. A Partners in Care pilot program is only staffed mornings and afternoons on weekdays in two police precincts, though they say help is available in other precincts and on the weekends if needed. "We are working on new services in the central precinct to start before the new fiscal year, and additional resources elsewhere in the county," Cirillo said. As part of the expansion, the mayor's office says the city hopes to train 550 police officers in crisis intervention over the next three years.


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