Need policing, not mental health


To the editor:

(re: “Some reflections on the first presidential debate,” Oct. 15)

It would have been most helpful, Mr. Derek Garrison-Bedell, in your recent Point of View if you could have elaborated on your support of “having mental health professionals present during 911 responses.”

Do you know any therapists, social workers or psychologists who would be willing to respond with police to a 911 call often involving violent individuals, or to assist with a search warrant with the risk of being fired upon? I do not.

Are the mental health professionals there to support the police? Or the person who is robbing the store, violating an order of protection, threatening their girlfriend, or resisting arrest? How do you think the scenario would play out?

The social worker advising the person who is resisting arrest to please comply with the officer’s request? Or will the therapist ask how the suspect is feeling today, and maybe they can express themselves and use their words?

Again, please elaborate as to what you see exactly to be “community policing.” Do you remember what happened to the woman in Brooklyn this summer who, as suggested by our mayor, politely asked a person on her street corner to stop lighting fireworks? She was immediately shot and killed for trying to be a good neighbor.

I have no interest in policing my community. I find it difficult enough just to politely ask people to pick up after their dogs without getting an angry response.

The nation’s police force is increasingly coming under attack for providing vital enforcement of our laws. Do you remember the footage from the looting of Macy’s in addition to many stores in SoHo this summer?

Did you drive down to Manhattan after the violent protesters ransacked stores to see most of the city boarded up with plywood and barbed wire?

Did you drive down to Broadway here in the Riverdale area and see the boarded-up stores, or venture out to Fordham Road?

How do you respond to the incident in Seattle in August where rioters allegedly sealed the police precinct doors using quick-dry concrete and threw fireworks at police, attempting to burn the precinct house down?

Finally, who will pay for all these therapists and mental health professionals to be trained? Or is the answer fewer police and more psychologists responding to 911?

I’ll back the blue, and hope that when I need the police, they’ll be there. And you can have Dr. Phil or the likes when you pick up the phone and dial 911.

Naomi Dorfman

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