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Commish to investigate claims cops ignored mentally ill man

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 10:01 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington has ordered an investigation into allegations that officers at the Duhaney Park Police Station mishandled a situation involving a mentally ill man.

A Jamaica Observer report yesterday had the man’s father, Errol Finn, alleging that cops at the station allowed this mentally ill son to wander away from the station after he went to them for help taking him to the mental facility at the University Hospital.

Finn questioned the competence of police personnel after his 36-year-old son walked out of the station and disappeared, hours after the family sought the lawmen's help in getting him to the psychiatric ward.

In February, the leadership of the police force, in a public statement, advised its members that there was no rule preventing them from intervening in potentially dangerous situations involving mentally ill persons, but, according to Finn, the police at the Duhaney Park Station seemed to have been waiting or his mentally incapacitated son to commit a crime before they assisted in getting him to Ward 21 — the hospital’s psychiatric ward.

Finn said his son, Mark, has struggled with mental issues for the past 16 years.

Ellington said the investigation would determine if there was any inappropriate action on the part of the police.

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