September 22, 2017
The other day, I was talking to a police officer, a Sargent no less, in the Visalia, California Police Department. We were discussing my daughter who is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I was trying to explain to him the concept of treatment before tragedy. Of course, I didn't get anywhere with him.
What infuriated me was, when we were talking about the mentally ill in the community, he referred to people with schizophrenia as "skits". I didn't appreciate that. I thought it was insensitive, disrespectful, and callous. I would guess that this mentality exists in many police departments throughout the country. Maybe I'm being too sensitive but it really bothered me.
September 25, 2017
Just to follow up on what I wrote previously. I called the superior of the officer I spoke to and he said that referring to those with schizophrenia as "skits" was wrong and could be construed as a derogatory term. He added that the police department has some officers trained in how to deal with individuals with mental illness and offers Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). He said he would send an email alert to dispatchers regarding my daughter, and flag her file as someone with mental health issues. He asked me about her diagnosis. He was very cordial and I believe he took my concerns seriously.
Again, I explained that I was trying to be proactive to avoid any future tragedy involving the police and my daughter.