Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, says across Kingston and St. Thomas, only 6 of the nearly 450 cases involving the mentally ill included the use of a firearm by a member of the Constabulary.

Of the six cases, three were fatal.

This was revealed by the Commissioner during a discussion on issues faced by the Police when confronting mentally ill persons on the Constabulary’s #Force4Good podcast yesterday.

The disclosure follows calls earlier this month by INDECOM’s Commissioner, Hugh Faulkner, for the Police to identify ways to subdue the mentally ill without the use of a firearm.

Tauna Thomas reports.

The Police Commissioner disclosed that of the nearly 4-hundred and 50 calls in Kingston and St. Thomas, the police only used their weapons six times.

Major General Anderson says of those matters so far this year, in 1-hundred and 20 of them, the Police secured the mentally challenged person and transported them to the hospital for treatment.

During an INDECOM media conference earlier this month it was revealed that 15 mentally ill persons were shot by the Police in the first nine months of this year. 

Of that number, six died.

The Police Commissioner says this doesn’t suggest the Police have a tendency to use lethal force when dealing with matters involving mentally challenged persons.

He further notes that the police aren’t using their firearm against the mentally-ill by default.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner reasoned that the use of lethal force was justifiable, because by INDECOM’s own report, there were no recommendations for charges to be laid in the 15 cases.