Norfolk council members address violence, mental illness

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by Jonathan Costen, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 5:26 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 5:39 AM

NORFOLK -- The recent rash of violence in Norfolk has city leaders exploring the issue of mental illness.  

At a work session on Tuesday night, Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim tackled the topic head-on. 

"We have to learn from each one of these we have to do better; our officers need more training.” Fraim said.  

29-year-old James Brown went on a shooting rampage on May 30, killing an officer, a teenager and injuring another officer. 

Less than a week later, Norfolk police were trying to take Lawrence Faine into custody at Calvary Towers. Investigators said Faine was shot and killed after he threatened an officer with a knife.

Two days later police shot and killed a man who was threatening his brother with a knife. Authorities said dispatchers told police that man was mentally disturbed.

Councilman Paul Riddick said for years he has asked city leaders to explore training in dealing with people who are mentally ill.

“Six cities in our region have that funding and for some reason Norfolk has not applied for it and so since 2008 I've been asking for money to assist our police officers who would deal with somebody with mental issues," Riddick said.  

Councilman Andrew Protogyrou believes the police not only need more training, but should be properly equipped and trained on mental issues. 

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