Police acquire a basic human services degree!

Police acquire a basic human services degree!

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My name is Jillian Turnbull, a resident of Bremerton, Washington. Bremerton has become my home, my safe place. I am writing you in hopes of change. Specifically, I am asking for change in our police department. Bremerton suddenly doesn’t feel so safe to me these days. I have lost my friend, who I loved and knew to be a wonderful man, David Pruitte. He was unarmed, and killed by police in Port Orchard, and respecting the current/ongoing investigation, that is all I will say. But I miss him. 
This tragic event made me realize the hole in our system. Our officers that are supposed to keep us safe, who work consistently with citizens who are experiencing mental health issues, are not well-educated in mental health.

A notification popped up on my Facebook from a “job hiring” group, notifying me that there is an opening to hire a new Sheriff for Port Orchard. After reading the qualifications, I was blown away. The idea that police officers aren’t required to have a college education is beyond me.

So, this is the change I am asking for: that our  police have a college education in human services. Our police officers need real education, to understand mental health!

If police have a better understanding of mental health, they will better respond to critical situations. Police work on a day-to-day basis with an extremely high percentage of people who have some type of mental health issue, whether it’s a situational, circumstantial, permanent, or drug-induced issue, it all points to some sort of mental health issue.

Therapists require a masters degree. Social workers require a bachelors. Substance abuse counselors require a Bare minimum of an associates, but typically also require a bachelors degree. Why do our police, who work with people who have mental health conditions AND carry a gun, not require a college degree?!

Well I believe that needs to change. We spend our tax dollars for them to take de-escalation classes that clearly are not working. It’s time to hold them accountable. They need true education. Wouldn’t you feel safer with educated policemen?
 


 
 
 
 

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