It’s not as if the NYPD has too much on its plate already, now Mayor Eric Adam wants the cops to determine if they need to bring a homeless person to the hospital for a psych evaluation against their will if they pose a threat to themselves or others.
“Officers should continue to remove a person for evaluation when that person appears mentally ill and the person’s actions present a threat of serious harm to themselves or others,” reads the order from Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell dated Tuesday morning.
“But officers should also be aware that removal is also appropriate when a person appears to be mentally ill and incapable of meeting basic human needs and such neglect is likely to result in serious harm to that person.”
Sewell’s hastily implemented directive provides one example of an ” incoherent person” with three general factors to consider for an involuntary transport: if the person is “unable to assess and safely navigate their surroundings;” if the officers believe they can’t find shelter or food, or other things “need for survival.”
The new directive, which was issued one week after Adams’ announcement, states “additional training will be forthcoming to all members of service.”
Many opponents of the new directive — including NYPD brass — don’t believe taking people in for a psych evaluation against their will can stand up in court.
But push back is silent as Adams blind sided many at 1 Police Plaza with the new policy one week ago.
On Thursday, lawyers and activists filed the first legal challenge to Adams’ new plan, asking a judge to halt its implementation because of alleged human rights violations.