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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Ige, Ballard, Legislators Agree: Mentally Ill Must be Forcibly Committed to Treatment Centers
By Selected News Articles @ 5:15 AM :: 1979 Views :: Health Care, Law Enforcement

Ige: No Amount of Gun Control Could have Stopped Diamond Head Attack—Involuntary Commitment of the Insane Needed 

Civil Beat, January 21, 2020 (excerpt) 

… The House and Senate Judiciary Committee chairs were already looking at measures to close certain gun loopholes. But Sunday’s deadly incident may have spurred broader support for those bills among members of the Legislature.

However, Ige said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon that no amount of gun control may have stopped what happened Sunday, when a 69-year-old man allegedly stabbed his neighbor before shooting the two police officers and setting his landlady’s home ablaze.

His speech came as police used cadaver dogs to find human remains in the burned out home on Hibiscus Drive.

Ige said police departments must be supported in recruiting efforts, and noted that access to mental health and substance abuse services in the state should be expanded.

The House may consider a measure that bans borrowing a firearm if the borrower does not have a permit to legally own one. Rep. Chris Lee, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, noted that the state should collect more data on illegal guns in Hawaii and how they move through the black market.

Lawmakers also have plans to expand bed space at the state hospital for civil commitments — or those who are admitted for treatment against their will.

The current space is taken up by people awaiting criminal trials, Rep. Sylvia Luke, the House Finance Committee chair, said in a press conference.

Senate President Ron Kouchi said lawmakers have been trying to restore funding for mental health services across the state that took a hit after the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009.

Sen. Clarence Nishihara, who chairs the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee, said he asked Ballard Tuesday morning for any proposals HPD might have to help with situations like those that police faced Sunday.

He noted that earlier this year, Hawaii enacted a “red flag law,” which tries to prevent people who pose a threat to the public from accessing firearms….

read … Mental Health Issue

HPD Chief:  Mentally ill Must be Forcibly Incarcerated in Treatment facilities

HNN, January 21, 2020 (excerpt) 

 … Honolulu's police chief is demanding more tools for her officers to use in cases where mental health is involved.

“I think more than anything else we have more issues with mental illness,” Chief Susan Ballard said.

She said there are gaps in the mental health system that need to be addressed.

She would like to see a a database created that catalogs a person’s temporary restraining orders and past problems so officers know what to expect before they encounter the subject of a 911 call.

“I know people don’t like that but we have to be able to track people who are mentally ill, and not just to track them but also to get them the services they need,” she said.

Mental Health Kokua CEO Greg Payton agrees Oahu cops need more tools.

On Maui, crisis intervention experts ride along with MPD officers and shelters offer stabilization beds where offenders who accept help can be monitored and treated.

(EDITOR's NOTE: "Who accept help" is not an acceptable condition.)

“This may be several days. It could be several weeks for somebody to get stable. And sometimes that involves co-occurring medical conditions as well,” Payton said….

Ballard also wants social service workers embedded within the police department to accompany officers on calls where mental health is involved.

And she'd like to see permanent residential facilities for the mentally ill who pose a danger to themselves and others.

“They don’t have a choice. If you’re mentally ill you are going to go to a facility. You’re going to get the help that you need because obviously you cannot make those decisions on your own,” she said.

“I know it sounds tough but I think it’s time for tough love now.”

It’s likely the state Legislature will take up Ballard’s concerns in the upcoming session, but changes to the law are expected to be met with resistance from some quarters….

read … Police Chief: State’s handling of mentally ill who pose threat should include ‘tough love’ 

Diamond Head Shootings: Authorities Did not Act on Elder Abuse Complaints

Star-Advertiser, January 21, 2020 (excerpt) 

 … “I know that (Lois’) husband had guns when he passed away maybe 10 years ago, and the last I knew there was a gun case under her bed in the middle room where Lois stayed in the main (living space) of the house on Hibiscus that burned down,” said Morrow, 53, who knew Lois Cain, 77, for 20 years. Raymond Cain, a landscape architect in Hawaii, died in 2005.

However, Morrow said, she did not know whether the guns were still present during her last, approximately 3-1/2-week stay at the house, during which she tried to provide support to Cain in her efforts to evict downstairs tenant Jerry “Jarda” Hanel.

Police said Hanel did not have a permit to carry firearms.

“Jarda was always telling Lois he would get her and burn the house down,” Morrow said. “To me this (was) a classic case of elder abuse.”

He also threatened Morrow and the neighbors, she added. “There was this raging, alcoholic, schizophrenic threatening everybody, thinking they’re spies,” Morrow said.

She said that during her visit she had been calling social services agencies in Honolulu to report elder abuse that Hanel was perpetrating on Cain by threatening her and locking her out of her office in the downstairs unit, which Cain continued to access by removing louvers from a small side window, stepping up makeshift cinderblock stairs and climbing in.

Cain stayed in the middle bedroom in the upstairs unit of the house, while the other two bedrooms were occupied by Morrow and the three-member King family, including Gisela Rinardi King, who was attacked and severely wounded by Hanel on Sunday morning when she went to his downstairs unit in an effort to rescue Cain, who she said he was beating, according to neighbors Ellen Farmer Freeman and Jennifer Tema…. 

SA: NAMI Hawaii’s (utterly futile) approach focuses on teaching family members and friends how to communicate with their loved ones and also get help for themselves.

KHON: Hanel wasn’t getting the help he needed.  “He held the neighborhood hostage.”

read … Elder Abuse 

BACKGROUND:  

2013: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

2018: Hawaii Grade C for Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Laws

2018: ‚ÄčMedicaid waivers allowed for inpatient psychiatric treatment

2014: Hawaii: More Mentally Ill in Jails than in State Hospital

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