PALATKA, Fla. (AP) — A north Florida sheriff says his deputies will begin a training program to help them better handle situations involving the mentally ill.
The announcement follows the fatal shooting in July of a man suffering from schizophrenia. Sheriff Jeff Hardy said Tuesday he believes his deputies followed proper procedure after 35-year-old Alfred Dobson attacked them. But he says he believes providing the training is the right thing to do.
Hardy says he reached out to Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford to learn about his program, which includes a 40-hour course led by mental health professionals.
The Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/QUl7xZ) reports the Jacksonville program is praised by mental health advocates.
Dobson was struck twice with a stun gun during a July 19 struggle that eventually led to the fatal shooting.
Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com