In what one Dunwoody resident called “a happy ending for a change,” Dunwoody Police took a man to the hospital rather than to jail.
Police responded to a burglary in-progress call outside of a restaurant at Georgetown Plaza shortly before 6 a.m. on July 30, the department posted later on its Facebook Page. Someone told police a man jumped the patio fence, but when officers arrived the quickly realized the man was “in crisis needing emergency mental care.”
Officer Tim Fecht, a spokesman for the department, said the officers on the scene received specialized training in crisis intervention and knew how to interact with the man at the restaurant.
“We’re thankful this person is going to get some help,” the Facebook post said.
Chief Billy Grogan said he plans to send all 53 sworn officers through the Crisis Intervention Training classes to “help us prevent bad outcomes and facilitate the treatment of those in need,” he said.
When police officers have this training, they have the tools needed to assist members of the community who have a mental illness, he said.
“For a variety of reasons, our jails and prisons have become the largest provider of mental health services in our nation,” Grogan said. “My goal is to provide CIT training for every officer in the department.”
Josh Spitalnick, wrote his thank you as a comment on the Facebook post.
“As someone who has conducted CIT trainings with various police departments, as a citizen of Dunwoody, and an mental health expert, THANK YOU for not criminalizing someone in need who sounds like they needed treatment, not incarceration,” Spitalnick wrote.