Cop Out vs. Doc Out

Police Chief David Brown’s statement that we expect our police officers to assume too many roles after the tragic shooting in Dallas last week struck a chord with me and hardly constituted a “cop out.” Too often we expect cops to take on duties more appropriate for mental health professionals.

Maybe we could term what I advocate a “doc out,” but I believe we also expect physicians, especially psychiatrists, to assume roles usually reserved for law enforcement officers. Another blogger called us “suicide cops,” and too often society holds us responsible for crimes like drug diversion and the same kind of violent acts that Chief Brown responded to.

Law enforcement officers and medical professionals will serve us all better if society allows us to assume the responsibilities that fit our titles and if society provides adequate resources for the mentally ill. If we refuse to fill these roles we will not be copping out -- or doccing out.

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