5 mental health calls in 7 hours keep Windsor police busy

Windsor police officers responded to five "high-risk mental health calls" in a seven-hour period Monday.
Windsor police Chief Al Frederick has three main areas he wants the province to reform when it comes to the Police Act: homelessness, addiction and mental health.

Windsor police officers responded to five "high-risk mental health calls" in a seven-hour period Monday.

The Windsor Police Service revealed the number in a news release Wednesday, saying as many as eight patrol units were involved with one of the calls, logging a total of 28 police hours.

"Our officers are often tasked with locating the person in crisis, speaking to them about the crisis and ensuring they get the proper medical care or hospitalization," the release reads. "These calls can be very emotional for friends and/or family members who are concerned for the person's well being or safety. Many resources are allocated to ensure the best possible outcome."

Last June, the Windsor Police Service said it responds to eight mental health crisis calls a day.

Nationally, a Statistics Canada report released at that time said one in five police interactions deal with someone suffering from mental health disorders or a substance abuse problem.

"These calls usually involve people who are suffering a mental crisis and who often require immediate care and assessment from a medical professional," the news release issued Wednesday continued. "This is another example of the many hours officers spend on non-criminal related calls for service on a daily basis to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in this community."

The Ontario government is currently talking to the public about policing before it rewrites the Police Services Act, which became law more than 25 years ago.

An area the province wants to improve is in police interactions with people who have mental health or addiction issues.

While government officials are to hold a meeting in Windsor next week, the public won't be invited.

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick has three main areas he wants the province to reform: homelessness, addiction and mental health.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens stresses three issues he'd like to have addressed in the rewrite of the Police Services Act: street checks, suspension without pay and mental health.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.