Mental health will be center of discussion during police advisory meeting

Pullman Police Advisory Committee meetings scheduled every second Monday of the month; committee to provide updates on Citizen Police Academy

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COURTESY OF STEPHANIE RINK

Stephanie Rink, Pullman Police Advisory Committee chair, said the meeting is an opportunity for the community to meet officers and provide feedback.

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen news editor

The Pullman Police Advisory Committee will tackle discussions on mental health and will provide updates concerning the Pullman Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy during its virtual monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. March 8.

Mike Berney, executive director of Palouse River Counseling, will be the mental health guest speaker. He said he will provide an overview of how mental health crises are addressed in the community. This includes how PRC staff work with officers and other first responders during debriefing sessions.

“[Mental health] is really a very wide continuum of potential issues,” he said.

Berney said he will also discuss the state’s Involuntary Treatment Act and its connection to mental health crises.

The act authorizes designated mental health professionals “to detain individuals who, as a result of a mental illness, are gravely disabled or may be a danger to themselves or others,” according to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

Aside from mental health, the committee will present a debrief on its Reimagining Public Safety in Pullman Virtual Summit that occurred last November, said PPAC Chair Stephanie Rink.

PPAC will focus on updates regarding PPD’s Citizen Police Academy. The committee will advise PPD on the academy’s classes. The academy will launch in the fall, according to a Daily Evergreen article.

PPAC conducts its meetings every second Monday of the month, Rink said. Questions can be sent to police.advisory@pullman-wa.gov.

Rink said she is encouraging the community to attend the meeting. It is an opportunity to meet officers and ask questions about public safety in Pullman, as well as provide feedback to the committee.

Individuals can attend the meeting virtually with this link.