Shooting damage 'profound'
Chris Durant The Times-Standard 04/25/2006
Community emotion is still running high over the April 14 shooting of Cheri Lyn Moore.
Now, agencies other than law enforcement are calling for enhanced communication and collaboration to help prevent a similar incident from happening again.
”The emotional toll the recent shooting has taken on our community is profound, with the impact on the mentally ill and their families being especially acute,” said Health and Human Services Director Phillip Crandall.
Crandall said Monday that there is no exact model for the collaboration of his agency and law enforcement, but there are other areas with similar relationships that will be examined.
”There is no standard procedure for consulting or being alerted to a crisis situation,” Crandall said. “We have to find out what's practical for a rural setting like Humboldt.”
During a recent Mental Health Board meeting, Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley said that mentioning the collaboration to local law enforcement officials has received a positive response.
Crandall said Monday that no one from law enforcement has contacted him or his office.
Also Monday, police released no new information on the inter-agency investigation
into the shooting, or the results of an autopsy on Moore.
Mental Health Director Donna Wheeler and Crandall hope to set up a meeting with county and city officials in the coming weeks.
”The long path toward healing our community will come through compassion for all involved or impacted by this tragic incident,” Crandall said. “We will need to work together toward improving our options to support both the mentally ill and law enforcement, through education and training in the future.”
Crandall said there was a “curriculum” regarding how police deal with mentally unstable people in Humboldt County in the past.
”These strategies are supported by legislation developed by local Assemblywoman Patty Berg,” Health and Human Services officials said in a prepared statement. “They include funding to establish a Training and Education Unit, an Integrated Services Unit and an Office of Client and Cultural Diversity. These programs will enhance the department's ability to work with client representatives, families and stakeholders through an integrated services approach to develop public education, outreach and intervention approaches that target the de-stigmatization of mental illness.”
A meeting with local public officials from a number of agencies is the first step to creating a system, Crandall said.