09/29/2011

Maine police refine crisis intervention skills

The training program, offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is based on the 'Memphis Model'

By Dawn Gagnon
Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — A middle-aged woman is sitting on the ground outside an auditorium that has been closed for hours. Sitting cross-legged on the ground and rocking herself, she is inadequately dressed for the cold and says she is waiting for her mother, who is inside at an Elvis concert.

Elsewhere, members of a campus police department are sent to look into reports that a woman is interfering with traffic. When they arrive, a woman who identifies herself as "Trixie McNaughty" is dancing to music no one else can hear. She tells officers she has been living under a bridge. Despite efforts to get her to safer ground, she continues to weave in and out of the roadway, flirting with officers and waving and calling out to passers-by.

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