City of Cleveland increasing mental health training for police

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Mayor Frank Jackson talks about police training on Sept. 23. (Photo: Ed Gallek/Fox 8 News)

CLEVELAND- The city of Cleveland says it is stepping up training for police officers in dealing with people who may be battling mental health issues.

This comes after the U.S. Department of Justice called on the city to do more in this area as part of a consent decree.

Last year, 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson died while in Cleveland police custody. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Anderson, who suffered from bipolar disorder, died from police restraint combined with a heart condition.

So in the next year, all city officers will get eight hours of training on working with people who have a mental illness. All cadets will get 16 hours of training.

Officers can also volunteer to go through a more intensive 40-hour course.

The city said about 600 officers have gone through the more intensive training. The FOX 8 I-Team recently showed what’s involved in that.

The city said it will also arrange special training for 911 call takers and dispatchers for handling calls from people with mental health issues.

The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County will lead the training.