More money will be dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of a police team called on to deal with people with mental health issues, Walnut Creek Police said Tuesday, in hope of lessening the chance of future use of force scenarios with persons in crisis.
Captain Jay Hill told the city council the department would allocate $100,000 to its crisis intervention team, ensuring that trained personnel would be available around the clock to respond to mental health emergencies.
Selected personnel would have additional training “to better equip them to handle the sort of crises that we’re faced with,” Hill told the council via Zoom.
The move comes after a violent domestic incident escalated into a lethal confrontation between Walnut Creek police and a local man diagnosed as schizoaffective in June 2019.
Family, lawyers and a group have been asking for change in police procedure since Miles Hall, 23, was shot multiple times with non-lethal and then lethal rounds after rushing a group of officers with a double-ended pry bar near his family home last year.
His mother, who had called police that day that day to report her son’s erratic behavior and to ask that police remove him, has since argued police overreacted and needn’t have shot her son.
Scott and Taun Hall sued the city in September 2019 on the grounds that police had prior knowledge Hall suffered from mental illness and could have used methods other than lethal force to subdue him.
Walnut Creek police have issued a detailed video breakdown of events that day, which remain officially under investigation.