- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The commander of the Honolulu Police Department’s training academy has praised officers for detaining a suspect who had been standing on the edge of an overpass.

Maj. William Baldwin wasn’t involved in the Monday incident but told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1TLlPwI) that officers did a good job and helped prevent additional injuries.

“They didn’t rush in. They took their time. It looked like there was one person trying to develop a rapport with that person,” he said.

Police arrested the 19-year-old man on suspicion of murder, although he has not been charged. On Tuesday he was still in police custody at a hospital where he was taken for a mental evaluation.

Authorities believe the man was fighting with 48-year-old Riley Meade before Meade died on Monday morning. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office said Meade had heart disease and died after his heart stopped beating during a violent struggle. His death was ruled a homicide.

Police chased the suspect to a bridge over a freeway, where he stopped on the edge of the overpass. Officers shut down freeway lanes for nearly an hour while they talked with the man, wrestled him to the ground and took him into custody.

Police have significantly increased training for dealing with people in crisis because of a rise in cases related to mental illness, both locally and nationally, said Baldwin, the Honolulu training academy commander.

Recruits now go through 24 hours of crisis training instead of the previous three hours. Officers also take an annual refresher course that began in 2007.

According to Baldwin, the training teaches police to deal with someone behaving psychotically, considering suicide or going through a traumatic episode.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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