JSH attorneys Michele Molinario, Joseph Popolizio, and Justin Ackerman presented “Responding To Critical Incidents Involving The Mentally Ill – What Every Law Enforcement Agency Needs to Know” during the 2021 PRIMA SES (Public Risk Management Association, Summer Education Series) Conference.

Up to half of the individuals involved in deadly force incidents have some form of disability. Police officers are expected to serve as mental health gatekeepers and have to respond to real threats to health or safety, even if an individual’s actions are a result of some disability. During their presentation, Michele and Joe discussed recent cases from the Ninth Circuit that demonstrate the importance of critical incident training. They explored the impact of exigent circumstances and direct threats under the ADA Title II, and examined the results of various training tactics utilized by law enforcement, including de-escalation, CIT, and Mental Health Training. Justin covered common state law claims and defenses involving the mentally ill. He also provided practical pointers for law enforcement to consider when training and setting critical intervention policy, as well as strategies for preserving the record for appeals.

2021 PRIMA SES Conference

July 28-30, 2021

PRIMA SES brings regional and national practitioners and thought leaders together annually to foster education, creativity, program enhancement, engagement, supportive relationships, and excitement, priming each other to more creatively and effectively lead our organizations’ efforts to manage risk and achieve their objectives.

AZ PRIMA’s network of public sector risk managers and their industry partners have been mutually engaging, supporting, and developing the profession, each other, and those new to public risk management in Arizona since 1990, ensuring the strongest support possible for our public entities, their constituents, and stakeholders. The Chapter provides quarterly educational and professional development programs (virtual monthly offerings during COVID restrictions), and a broad support network. Learn more at primacentral.org.

Michele Molinario has dedicated her professional career in the areas of government liability and employment law. She represents private employers and public entities and their employees, including police officers, detention officers, emergency responders, public works directors, building inspectors and traffic engineers, etc. Michele has tried state and federal jury trials and bench trials, as well as administrative law hearings.

mmolinario@jshfirm.com | 602.263.1746 | jshfirm.com/mmolinario

Joe Popolizio represents governmental entities, law enforcement personnel, elected officials, municipalities and private correctional facilities in matters involving alleged civil rights violations such as wrongful death, excessive force, racial profiling and discriminatory policing. Joe conducts trials in both state and federal courts, defending governmental clients in complex, high-profile matters involving the Department of Justice and ACLU.

jpopolizio@jshfirm.com | 602.263.1741 | jshfirm.com/jpopolizio

Justin Ackerman represents governmental entities in federal and state appellate matters. His experience includes cases involving excessive force, wrongful death, personal injury, bad faith, and premises liability.

jackerman@jshfirm.com | 602.263.1740 | jshfirm.com/jackerman