This is an open letter to the new Placerville olice chief. It is now understood that you are taking a hard line in running our homeless population out of town.
Yes, they can be a nuisance, and yes some may break some minor laws. However, do you know, or even try to understand that many of these people are mentally ill, with no family or support system, other than each other? Do you have any understanding about mental illness? Have you taken the necessary CIT training to obtain this education and understanding? I certainly would hope so. Some of your officers have, but, they are under your leadership, to run all the homeless out of town.
Do you understand that there is a lack of mental health services and resources?
From what we are hearing, there is no understanding or compassion being shown to our mentally ill homeless population.
Every year NAMI honors a CIT officer from the Sheriff’s Department. They have done quite an outstanding job of expanding the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) program, to know how to work with mentally ill people.
Last year, NAMI also started an award program for the Police Department, with outgoing Chief George Nielsen being chosen.
This year? The Placerville Police Department does not want to honor any CIT officer. What a shame. This may show a lack of commitment to the very important CIT program, I’m afraid.
I miss our old chief.