On September 20th, London Police and a few councillors, including Councillor Mo Mohamed Salih, Councillor Jesse Helmer, and Mayor Matt Brown attended a board meeting to discuss a small list of different topics.
One of them being the budget for 2019. Deputy Chief Longworth spoke on the matter, and said that no drastic change will occur next year. Just that there will be a few technology changes, and light armoured vehicles.
Another topic spoken about was a new project that was passed by the members. It’s an initiative that has been in progress over the last year or so in London. The title, “Situation Table”, is a program for individuals who frequently call the police, often with mental health calls, drugs, family disturbances, uncertain housing, and more. These individuals are acute elevated risks, and police want to be able to provide them with proper resources. London Police have teamed up with an entire list of community organizations including London Middlesex Housing, Children’s Aid Society, EMS, and Family Services to give callers a better end goal in their calls. Police say they receive at least one call a week. After about a year of statistics, it’s been shown that 47% of calls were successful in lowering the risk, 30% of the calls are for the ages 12-17 years old, and 63% of the risk calls are women. Police will aim at keeping this project up.
Lastly, a huge topic spoken about and passed was to get more mental health care to front line officers, who often go to many mental health distress calls that deal with complex issues and many tend to have PTSD after going to so many severe cases. Three things that Dr. Javeed Sukhera, a London Police Board Member, wants for officers is support for first responders, improved training so police can help efficiency with mental health calls, and support collaborations with the community for counselling.
Councillor Mo Mohamed Salih supported the mental health initiative.
“For us, I think we wanted to demonstrate our support, because it’s important and we want to make sure that front line officers are supported, as well as members of the community are supported. We know mental health is an ongoing challenge, and it requires resources, and that’s what we decided to do today to step up and make a difference and do our part.”
Police also think they should have help with mental health calls with those in the field, or with the hospital, as London Police in 2011 spent $12.5 million on mental health calls, and was expected in 2015 that it would have gone up to $16 million.
The next board meeting will take place on Thursday October 18, 2018.