Mental health calls are an issue the police deal with daily. Interim Roswell Police Chief Dennis Kintigh said the number of calls the department receives for Code 11, potentially violent mental patients, and Code 12, nonviolent patients, for the past three years appear to be rising.
In 2008, the police responded to 140 mental health calls. Of these, 51 were Code 11 calls and 89 were Code 12 calls. In 2009, police responded to 182 calls, 70 Code 11 and 112 Code 12. In the first three quarters of 2010, the RPD received 182 calls, 72 dealing with potentially violent patients and 110 nonviolent.
These may represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with more than 50 percent of the people in Chaves County Detention Center diagnosed with some sort of mental health disorder. When people with substance abuse problems are added to equation, the figure is closer to 75 percent.
According to Kintigh, the police plan to combat this problem with appropriate training. He relayed the story of the first time he had to confront a mental health patient in the Login to read more