In the past, police officers called to a scene would typically remove a person with a possible mental health issue to a secured location, such as a police facility or a hospital, and a mental health worker would be called to evaluate the person's mental health status. That process can take hours and require confinement, during which time suspects are isolated from other people, their support structure, and the environment they are familiar with. It is a recipe for misbehaviour.
Hamilton's approach now involves initial appraisal of a scene and, assuming there is an acceptable level of risk, has the mental health worker step in to de-escalate the situation and build rapport with the suspect.
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