- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Mental health advocates say New York lawmakers have added $1.5 million to the state budget for more pilot programs to train police officers in dealing with the mentally ill.

The money for the fiscal year that began Wednesday will expand the list of jurisdictions where police get the training, intended to ensure connections between police, families and people in crisis and keep them out of the criminal justice system.

The last state budget contained $400,000 for the training to help officers assess and de-escalate confrontations when called to incidents involving psychologically troubled people.

It was used for training police in Auburn, Binghamton, Clarkstown, Hempstead, Newburgh, Syracuse, Utica and St. Lawrence County.

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services says proposed funding from both the Assembly and Senate were added.

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