DENVER - Denver police have seen a substantial increase in mental health-related calls over the last five years, and mental health advocates say cuts to mental health budgets are to blame.
After a series of officer-involved shootings, law enforcement sources said one common factor was mental illness.
"I heard he didn't have his medication," said Mike Orecchio, the neighbor of Evan Bynum, a man who was shot and killed by Jefferson County sheriff's deputies after they say he fired a gun outside a Littleton King Soopers last Saturday night. "I knew something like this was going to happen.
Scott Glaser with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) in Colorado said recent cuts in mental health services have put police in the place of psychiatric care.