SOUTH BEND, Indiana (WNDU) – First article featured on 16 News Now.

Mental health experts said communities need to work together when responding to situations like the South Bend police shooting of Dante Kittrell.

John Horsley, an Oak Lawn veteran of 11 years and a clinician social worker since 2001, says he finds mental health professionals helpful in very intense situations.

In July, Kittrell was shot dead after pointing what appeared to be a handgun at a South Bend police officer.

Body and dash cam videos show nearly 40 minutes of negotiators trying to escalate the situation.

City leaders said officers used lethal force as a last resort.

“I’m sure a mental health professional could have guided and advised … It’s very emotional and intense. I really want to bring it,” said Horsley.

South Bend Police said the de-escalation drills were highly effective and officers did everything they could to get everyone home safely that day.

“I think this has raised some awareness of how serious these situations can be. We have been actively working to find the additional training needed… Our mobile crisis management team is well trained in intervention and well trained in assessment… when someone has a gun and the police are confronted, they No! But the training they have is helpful in those situations, and if we have to work with law enforcement, we will definitely do it,” Horsley said. has said.

Horsley said a mental health crisis team is essential.

“I thought it made sense, and will continue to make sense, that at least one member of the community crisis management team, if not the crisis management team, is connected to the community mental health center. This allows seamless participation in follow-up services, there is support for individuals in crisis after a crisis has occurred…our community works together to create a good crisis management system. We must work hard to ensure that

Oaklawn has already secured funding to continue building its mobile crisis unit, Horsley said.

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