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Wausau policing task force finalizing recommendations on mental health assistance, community relationships

WAOW Television

Wausau's policing task force is finishing its final recommendations for the city’s department after a year a half of discussions.

One of its key recommendations is increasing resources for people who need mental health assistance.

Task Force Chair John Robinson says there needs to be clear guidance in state statute for when an individual in a mental health crisis should be transferred from police to a professional in that field.

“We need to streamline the process, and clarify the process, of law enforcement’s role, so when we go to the health care center, they’re not sitting there for hours waiting for that person to be processed,” he says. “[We need] an exchange from the law enforcement community to the crisis workers and others.” Robinson says that exchange would let officers get back to doing their jobs.

Other key recommendations focus on officer mental health, communication with the public, and requiring officers to learn commands in multiple languages.

The task force will prioritize the recommendations for its final report, which will be completed next week.

It’ll be released by mid-February.

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