State Assembly Members to Hear Testimony on Mental Health, CHP Policies

California Governor Brown delivers his State of the State address in the Assembly Chambers at the State Capitol in SacramentoAssembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer will hear testimony from panels of law enforcement executives and mental health experts when they co-chair the Assembly Joint Hearing of the Select Committee on Mental & Behavioral Health and Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29) at 10:00 a.m. at Southern Missionary Baptist Church (4678 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016).

CHP Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow, LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, L.A. County Assistant Sheriff Teri McDonald and Robert Stresak, executive director of the California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) are expected to address the current law enforcement procedures and policies used by police agencies in circumstances involving mentally ill persons.

Rusty Selix, California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies; Dr. Marvin Southard, director, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; Dr. John H. Griffith, CEO, Kedren Mental Health Services; Brittany Weissman, executive director, national Alliance on Mental Illness L.A. County; Elyn Saks, law professor, USC; and Dr. David C. Stone, Psychiatry Department, Harbor UCLA Medical Center will provide an overview of the status of interactions between law enforcement officers and mentally ill persons from their professional perspectives as advocates for mentally ill persons or providers of services to persons with mental illness.

The joint hearing comes at a time when the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is conducting an investigation into a CHP officer’s controversial July 1 arrest of a woman pedestrian apprehended on the shoulder of the Interstate 10 Freeway near the La Brea exit in Los Angeles.

The hearing will address the central question: Are the current mechanisms in place sufficient for state and local governments to address the needs of mentally ill persons and foster positive outcomes at a time when state and local law enforcement personnel are increasingly becoming a primary point of contact when a person is in mental health crisis?

A live stream of this hearing will be available through the website for Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas – go to 



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