New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes in a recent talk with protesters. Thomas Breen / New Haven Independent

The Police Accountability and Transparency Task Force outlined a series of priorities to reform policing in Connecticut. Among these recommendations is an examination of police officers’ interactions with individuals with a mental, intellectual or physical disability.


Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
This week, Gov. Ned Lamont used an executive order to call for greater accountability in the state police. And, the Police Accountability and Transparency Task Force outlined a series of priorities to reform policing in Connecticut. Among these recommendations is an examination of police officers’ interactions with individuals with a mental, intellectual or physical disability.

The role of police in responding to calls of people in a mental health crisis has been one of the issues raised by those calling for a defunding of police departments – a reallocation of dollars toward a different kind of response.

Kelan Lyons’ story “Should police be social workers?” digs into this issue – the many hats police are expected to wear, the training they get in dealing with mental health issues, and the value of that training. His examination of this system is in the context of this nationwide reckoning about police and racism in America.

Note: This podcast contains police body camera footage of a shooting. Some listeners may find it disturbing.

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John DankoskyEvent / Podcast Host

John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.