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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 23, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 23, 2014

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2A Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Dan McDonald Managing Editor Local law enforcement could soon change the way it deals with people suffering from mental health issues -- with a crisis intervention team. The team is the brainchild of local California Highway Patrol Commander Joe Edwards. "You bring together mental health, police, medical, fire personnel, and you have a team that can go out and be proactive," Edwards said. "If we have someone who we know needs help, maybe someone who has had multiple contacts with law enforcement, this crisis team goes out and tries to have a consensual contact with the person to see if we can help them." For Edwards' idea to work, it will require cooperation and commitment from many county agencies. The commander said most everyone is on board with the plan. "The sheriff and I have met with the district attorney and the head of mental health and other agency heads," Edwards said. "We should be doing the training by the fall.'~ Edwards will be the teacher. He is a certified instructor through California POST (Police Officer Standards and Training). He has already conducted the eight-hour training for the local CHP officers and staff. He also conducted the training courses for the CHP offices in Susanville, Alturas, Ukiah, Garberville and Clear Lake. It was the success of those trainings, coupled with the Lt. Joe Edwards need for those services here, that prompted Edwards to pitch the idea of a local crisis team. "Here at home I wanted to take it to another level," Edwards said. "This is one of those things that is so important that we need to blur those lines between local and state and federal. We need to work together to make things better." Sheriff Greg Hagwood was quick to embrace the crisis team idea. He said he has no problem with the CHP training his staff. "It's something that we certainly endorse and welcome," Hagwood said. ' "And it's in keeping with trends that have been emerging throughout not just California but the country, in terms of addressing individuals with mental health issues in a way that we can avert a crisis," District Attorney David Hollister said his office was on board, too. "I am very much looking forward to working with Lt. Edwards on this team," he said. "It is my sincere hope that we will have the help and cooperation of mental health in this endeavor." The district attorney and sheriffhave been critical of nlt~ part of real life. And we want to make the county's mental health department. They havechanges here locally with the people Ihat mean accused mental health of he most to us -- our family and friends." neglecting the criminal justice system. Mental Health Director Lt. Joe Edwards Peter Livingston, who has CHP Commander strongly denied those claims, schizophrenia, was beaten to that can be rapidly deployed said he was willing to death by Fullerton police anywhere in the county would consider a crisis team idea. officers in July 2011. be the final step. "It's an interesting idea. I The beating was captured"But that's also the most think that it's worthy of on video and went viral on challenging," Hagwood said. consideration," Livingston YouTube. said, "I'm aware that there "Watch that video and ask Crisis team's job have been different yourself: Is this the way we Edwards said police officers approaches created want to respond to people ale often the first people to throughout the state and with mental health contact a person with a country to help address these problems?" Edwards said.mental health disability, He issues. And I'm more than "We didn't want our officers said the crisis intervention happy to be at the table to talk to have a similar experience, training teaches officers and about that." The only way to change that is first responders how to Edwards said the mental to teach and increase our recognize the signs and health department would play awareness, and give our prevent the encounters from a key role on the team. But he officers some tools." escalating into violence. said he would create a crisis "It allows us to come into a team even if mental health Crisis team model situation where there's not a isn't included. He added that Many metropolitan policethreat to someone's safety or the county's alcohol and drug departments have createdlife, but we encounter a department has pledged its crisis intervention teams. But person with a mental health support, in rural areas like Plumas disability," Edwards said, "It's all coming together," County, the teams are much, "We want to give our Edwards said. "We are ready less common, officers a tool to recognize to get started." The challenge for rural what they have, and how they areas is that a limited number can help this person to get, A better approach of staff are tasked withperhaps, an evaluation or Edwards said three events covering a large geographic assessment as a patient, and over the past two decades area. not to ramp things up into a have led to profound changes "We have unique challenges criminal situation." in police work. here," Sheriff Hagwood said. Edwards emphasized the The first was the Rodney "That doesn't mean that we team's ultimate goal is to get King event in Los Angeles. can't try to put something people help without resorting "That had to do wRh how together that will provide a to force. police interacted with the use better service, and a more "It fUlfills two purposes," of force," he said. timely service, than what we Edwards said. "It shows that The second was the O.J. are able to do today." we are trying to be preactive Simpson event just a few Hagwood said identifyingto help. It's not done by force; years later. "That brought to qualified people in the it's done by consent. the forefront how police various agenciesand training "Second, it shows that all of handled domestic violence," them, as the CHP commander the different agencies in the Edwards said. is proposing, are the first two county are trying," he said. The third event was the steps. Putting a team in place "Even if we can't force the Kelly Thomas incident in Orange County. Thomas, a homeless man diagnosed with 336 Crescent St Quincy Mon-Fri: 5am-8pm, Weekends: 8am-12pm Open 7 Days a week lam - 9:00pm T, sting ava#aMe at th, fo#o ng locations (call for lab hours): Graeagle Medical Clinic 530.836.1122 L.vait H0spitai 530.993.1231 I'ndianqaliey MedicaJ Clinic ' s3o.aa4.6116 Payment due at time of service. Insurance will not be billed. You must be 18 years or older. Please fast for 1i hours pdor to your blood draw. These prices are for lab work only; office visits Lightning ignites local fires The Plumas National Forest has received roughly 1200 lightning strikes in the spate of thunderstorms that lasted through Sunday, July 20. The 36 confirmed fires totaled about 50 acres, although the majority of them were one-10th to one-quarter of an acre in size. All were either contained or controlled as the newspaper went to press. Precipitation, sometimes heavy, occasionally accompanied the strikes. I III II I I I ;i II~I m:m,'~ ;i~.m: i i uested //uwt/Ifex/cam Food/ 6roup reserva#ons available. 875 E: Main, Quincy Bt'dtl In and I II III I III I s *o,? * filled with WiB and BU[$$1U$ as you,11. away into retirement. Take Cam & Best Stew, Lisa, Sara, and Joy IIIIIII person to receive treatment, at least we are showing them that we care and that we want to help them and give them some opportunities. "Here's a reality: I think all of us -- regardless of the makeup of our family -- have someone who struggles in this area. So it's very personal for all of us -- whether you are a police officer or not," he said "It's part of real life. And we want to make changes here locally with the people that mean the most to us -- our family and friends." Edwards' mental health training Lt. Edwards was one of about 25 CHP commanders in the state selected to become crisis intervention trainers. After two years, he became a POST-certified instructor. He said initially he found it odd that the CHP planned to conduct mental health training for its officers. "But after I learned about the course, I realized this is amazing, and I'm glad we are part of it." He said the training included input from actual mental health patients. "Some of the patients said that they found that even though they are not in control at the time, they had this deep-down sense that if the police officers are treating them well, it helps the situation," Edwards said. "And when it's all over, they look back and realize that it made the situation better, that the police cared about them. It works so much better for everybody involved. It helps with the long-term fix." Trial date set in toddler death A Quincy man charged with inflicting injuries that ! led to the death of a toddler is scheduled tostand trial November, Kenneth Charles-Alan Strtngfellow, 24, is accused of inflicting injuries that led to the death of ,2-month-old Braylon Duguay on Dec, 13, ~.013. According to the district attorney, a jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. in Plumas County Superior Court in Quincy. The trial is expected to last about three weeks. Stringfellow, who was the boyfriend of the toddler's mother, was reportedly watching Duguay alone at a Quincy apartment the day the child was fatally injured. The .toddler was taken to Plumas District Hospital and later to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he died. Stringfellow was subsequently charged with murder. Stringfellow is represented by Marysville-based attorney Craig Leiq. I I IIIIII O