I want to thank officers Smith and Delvalle for their efforts to try and talk to our daughter on the afternoon of September 26, 2015. Because Officer Smith was the Mental Health Officer he did most of the talking. However, Officer Delvalle appeared to do well as complementing his efforts.
We called 911 for a mental health officer to our daughter’s apartment. My daughter is 34 and has been diagnosed with mental illness since she was 17. Austin police officers and other EMS have made several calls to addresses where she lived so there may be a considerable record.
Like so many with mental illness, she stopped taking her medicine.
Officer Smith was very calm and professional. At the same time he was very concerned about safety for everyone. Because of her illnesses, we have become members of NAMI and tried to educate ourselves. I know Texas overall, and the Austin Travis county area especially, has become very active in the CIT and PES programs. On mental health, this seems to be where we shine in this country. Officer Smith represents that bright aspect. I want to thank Officer Smith, Officer Delvalle, and the Austin Police Department for this approach to people with mental illness.
Being a policeman is too often a thankless job and I regret not thanking officers enough through the years. And people with mental illness don’t always greet officers with open arms and say, “Thanks officer, I needed that!” Officers risk their lives for our safety and usually see us in our worst behavior. In summary, officers like Officers Smith and Delvalle need to be appreciated so we can keep the best officers.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.