By Eric Heisig, Cleveland Plain Dealer (March 6, 2017)
The federal judge overseeing Cleveland's police reform approved a set of policies on Monday designed to guide officers on how to deal with people suffering a mental health crisis.
The goal with the new policies is to steer people with mental health issues away from the jails and toward treatment. Officials also seek to minimize the use of force during officers' encounters with the mentally ill.
Chief U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.'s one-page order says the new crisis intervention policies make clear "that specially-trained officers will 'have appropriate discretion to direct individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues to the health care system' and must be dispatched, when available, to all incidents that appear to involve an individual in crisis."