Mesa PD to ramp up training after fatal shooting

Posted at 8:22 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 22:22:26-05

The Mesa Police Department is promising to make changes after a 24-year-old was shot and killed when officers responded to her home for a suicide call.

Danielle Jacobs, also known as Kayden Clarke, made it her mission to educate the world about Asperger’s, by making YouTube videos.

At times, she showed herself at her most vulnerable.

But on February 4, Jacobs was shot and killed by police after she charged at officers. Police say they felt they had to pull the trigger.

Chief John Meza says he's complying with national requirements to have a quarter of his forced trained in crisis response, but he wants more officers trained.

"My goal is to have the Mesa Police Department above the national requirement by the end of this year," said Meza.

He's started a full-time city-wide crisis response team that will work with the mental health community to respond to calls for help.

He wants to create a Mental Health Advisory Board that reviews policies and procedures. And he wants all sworn officers to have continued training. 

"De-escalation training and understanding mental illness is always going to be beneficial because we get so many calls on it," said Mesa Detective Amanda Stamps.

From 2013 to 2015, the department has had an average of 2,500 suicide calls and none of them resulted in a death by officer.

"Is it going to be the solution to every call? No because we see so much and it is such a split second decision that we make on our calls - not everything will be foolproof," said Stamps.

But the more that know how, the better equipped they will be when trying to help people like Danielle.

One of the first officers that responded to the scene did have crisis response training.

That training consists of training in mental and developmental health.