Spokane Police Dept. responding to more suicidal callers

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 8:21 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Spokane Police officials said the number of people trying to commit suicide by cop was on the rise across the country in July. Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said the community needed to do more to stop them.

A man told Spokane Police officers that he wanted police to kill him on Thursday. It was one of many public mental health issues that Chief Straub said the community needed to spend more time and money trying to improve.

On Thursday morning, Spokane Police found a man lying on the ground along Division. Officials said the man pulled a knife out and told them he wanted police to find him.

Police tased the man but he still slashed his neck several times. The man was taken to a hospital and survived. He was in jail on Thursday night. The call was not considered one of the 40 suicide calls in Spokane County in 48-hours. 
   
"We have to look at this as a public health, mental health crisis,” said Chief Straub.

Chief Straub said he was also concerned about resources for domestic violence cases.

"This is about saving our community, saving our young people, saving victims or potential victims of domestic violence,” said Chief Straub.

Chief Straub said he planned to meet with the mayor and City Council to discuss how to get more funding and volunteers to help with the public health concerns.

Chief Straub said the money would pay for mental health training and police equipment. He said the money would go to officers and hospital staff. He believed law enforcement and medical teams needed to work together more often to bring down the number of suicides.

"It's not just my officers that are being traumatized, it's their families that are being traumatized, it's the families of the people that have brought us there that are being traumatized,” said Chief Straub.

Chief Straub said he planned to meet with the mayor and City Council to discuss how to get more funding and volunteers to help with the public health concerns.
 

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