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Brain Police

Better for everyone
  [vote for,

With unfortunate regularity, law enforcement officers are summoned to deal with individuals who have serious mental health issues.

This is bad for all concerned. Police officers have limited training in dealing with such people, who are not in the strict interpretation of the word criminals; they are not necessarily responsible for their actions.

However, the police are the only civil public agency which society invests with the authority to employ force against its members. The medical profession are understandably reluctant to cross that boundary, unless in the defined and regulated environment of a hospital.

The outward appearance of a police officer may also be very threatening to a disturbed individual.

Enter the Brain Police. These are fully trained and experienced police officers, who have additional extensive paramedical qualifications, which permit them to administer medications. Their base of operations may be a police station, but they could equally well work from a mental health unit. Their garments would be designed to be neutral and non-threatening, as would their vehicles. While they would retain the full range of weaponry available to police officers, with the implicit authority to employ lethal force, they will also be provided with equipment such as anaesthetic dart guns, net throwers, and other low-lethality devices.

On receiving a "maniac wielding axe" call, if the first responders identify that the offender has mental health issues, they withdraw, taking all necessary measures to protect the public, and the Brain Police move in. With their negotiating skills and calm, professional approach, they have a better chance of achieving a good outcome, but if it all goes pear-shaped, they retain the ability and authority to contain the problem.

8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

And the headdress... Massive_20Inflatable_20Ego
[FlyingToaster, Dec 27 2016]


       This is a sensible, compassionate and helpful proposal. What have you been drinking?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       I can recall a time when the immediate repair action for a malfunctioning television was to deliver a series of thumping blows to its upper region, using the side of a clenched fist. Surely this is what the truncheon carried by every police person is now for, when applied to the corresponding malfunctioning head of any miscreant?
xenzag, Dec 27 2016

       // What have you been drinking? //   

       Not sure ... a bottle of stuff that Sturton brought to the Christmas Dinner, he smuggled a case of it back from Lombok before he was deported (again) ?   

       It's pretty potent ... bit worrying the way it etches the inside of the glass, though.   

       And where did all those purple-and-yellow flashing armadillos come from ?   

       // a series of thumping blows to its upper region //   

       Percussive maintenance... results when used on humans are nor entirely satisfactory, but we keep trying anyway.   

       // Surely //   

       Sp. "Shirley"   

       // this is what the truncheon carried by every police person is now for //   

       This is what the large-calibre handgun carried by every police person is now for.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       They'd be sporting white labcoat uniforms, bat belts chock full of sedatives and ECT tasers, with large inflatable rubber brains as hats. This has the advantage of projecting "We think you're nuts" to the perp/victim, which may have a calming effect on the lesser afflicted.
FlyingToaster, Dec 27 2016

       This Idea is open for abuse. Just because the Brain Police *claim* someone needs to be arbitrarily medicated, that doesn't make the claim a fact.
Vernon, Dec 27 2016

       "Honest citizens have nothing to fear from the Police" ...   

       // someone needs to be arbitrarily medicated //   

       Probably better than being shot .. at least you survive to sue if their actions are inappropriate or excessive.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       //Not sure ... a bottle of stuff that Sturton brought to the Christmas Dinner// Yes but, if you remember, he also brought several bottles of HTP for his hypergolic theremin. Did the bottle you opened have a green label and a blue cap, or a blue cap and a green label?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       I've started spelling it "Shirley" just to avoid seeing that tired joke, and I don't like it.   

       As for the idea, it may make the difference between life and death for me the next time I'm on an axe rampage. [+]
Voice, Dec 27 2016

       Hahaha ... green hat ... hahahah ... all those bloody plastic forks, watching us from under the table with their horrible little beady eyes ... little green hat, big red bottle .... we want to go to London Town and look at all the pretty shops .... we shaved Stalin's cow, you know .... hahahaHIC .... blue bottle, red bottle ... you're our bestest HIC friend you know ... sprrrp ... HIC .... an' .... an' .... an' we'll tell you another thin' .. HIC ... bestest frien' .... HIC URRRP ... hehehehe .... wha', wha', wha' are those green lights ? What are those green .... HIC .... whrrrrrrr .... this bassoon's no good, the tyres are flatHIC ... why ir sa' 'xternl use only on this bott ... bot .. botbotbot hahaha ... bot ...   


8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       //Their garments would be designed to be neutral and non-threatening//   

       So ... like mimes?
pertinax, Dec 27 2016

       Should auld acquaintance be forgot, check under the table.
pertinax, Dec 27 2016

       // proper doctors //   

       We question how helpful or useful they would actually be.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016

       //it is the thinking that it runs that contains a fault// Well, therein lies the great debate. Most mental illnesses are probably at least partly hardware-dependent.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 27 2016

       Bun. This here idea is a good idea, and is actually applicable in daily life. We need a separate set of responders, since cops are trained for conflict (sure, okay, 'conflict resolution', but still conflict focused) and EMTs are trained to save lives (breathing, bleeding, not so much the worrying thinking).   

       Yes, the Brain Police (working title) need to be trained police and EMTs, with the added bonus of being able to recognize and respond to thinking loops. Most mental illnesses appear to be a programming problem that eventually lays down tracks in the neural network, or vice versa. It would be good for a First Responder to be able to recognize which is which, see if the person can be talked down, or if the carfentanil will be required.   

       As I said, a good idea. Not sure why it's here in the HB, or how it came from the usually violent-solution-friendly [8th of 7]. Was it inadvertently left in your Christmas stocking?
Sgt Teacup, Dec 27 2016

       A bit over a year ago, I tried very hard to explain to a cop that the guy in cuffs needed mental health seeing to, not criminal justice seeing to. Sadly, he got the latter, which helped exactly nobody. [+]
Wrongfellow, Dec 27 2016

       It's got to be hard for cops to decide whether someone has lost touch with reality or whether they are hopped up on something which would let them fight like a caged wolverine.
The few times I've seen them have to apprehend somebody with schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder and they are notified in advance of that person's condition they've handled the situations with kid gloves.

       I was impressed every time. It would be nice if they could always have advanced warning.   

       // they've handled the situations with kid gloves //   

       Where was this exactly, Narnia ?
8th of 7, Dec 27 2016


       When my step son went bipolar there were a few times when he became... unmanageable, and needed to be placed under 24 hour watch. Even though he was completely un-rational and violent, he was approached with and treated with respect and considerable restraint because the officers had been warned about what they were walking into ahead of time.
When my brother went schizophrenic at seventeen I had to make the decision to institutionalize him after several days of hell. That little scenario could have gone sideways in a big hurry, but the cops had been given a heads-up and spent the extra time needed to talk him into not fighting back.
I've seen similar things with non-family members too.
The cops just need to know what they are walking into prior to the uncontrolled release of adrenaline.

       ...from what I've seen anyway.   

       Like I said, I was impressed.   

       //Most mental illnesses are probably at least partly hardware-dependent//   

       So far as I know, there isn't really a well-defined hardware/software distinction in the central nervous system - if there is, how would you define it?
pertinax, Dec 27 2016

       //...from what I've seen anyway. //   

       Likewise; I was once taken in for questioning on suspicion of being a drug-crazed knife-murderer, and the police were very civilized about it, I thought.
pertinax, Dec 27 2016

       So... tranquilizer darts?   

       "Mr. Trump, put down the ceramic bust and please come with us..."
RayfordSteele, Dec 27 2016

       point taken   

       //With unfortunate regularity, law enforcement officers are summoned to deal with individuals who have serious mental health issues.// Should read: "With unfortunate regularity, law enforcement officers summoned to deal with individuals, have serious mental health issues." Now it's closer to reality, especially in the USA.
xenzag, Dec 28 2016

       [+] but with riders:   

       * There have been states where failure to realise the true rationality of the glorious march of the workers into a gleaming utopian future where all quotas of tractor part production were achieved was clearly a form of thought disorder which would be treated accordingly in appropriate long-term and high security institutions. How would we be able to distinguish between such a state and what you suggest? Everyone else is always wrong, aren't they?   

       * Conversely, the longer I live, the more it seems that crimes are committed by people with some kind of brain damage or thought disorder brought on by upbringing or environmental conditions. I can't really look at someone who has caused GBH as bad right now so much as mad, and I'm not sure how to draw the line there either.   

       [Ian], there is a phrase "thought disorder".
nineteenthly, Dec 28 2016

       // Everyone else is always wrong, aren't they? //   

       The idea is appropriate to populist democracies where an appropriate system of checks and balances is in place.   

       In totalitarian regimes, they probably don't give a damn about those with psychological or psychiatric problems as long as they don't rock the Party boat.
8th of 7, Dec 28 2016

       [Ian] Try the thrift/2nd hand shops. They have tons of gear flowing through that doesn't make it to the shelves or doesn't sell. A makers paradise.
wjt, Dec 31 2016

       //crimes are committed by people with some kind of brain damage or thought disorder// No, crimes are committed by people suffering from undiagnosed, untreated sanity. They need to be locked up for their own protection.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2016

       Zombies have no brains. so you might also need an "FBI Office of Missing Brains"
popbottle, Jan 02 2017

       They'd spend all their time just trying to deal with Congress, never mind the general population …
8th of 7, Jan 02 2017


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