“Now, we’re sending the police out as a front-line mental health team with no training and no resources, and no support backup, and we expect them to do the job. A lot of officers resent the hell out of that. A lot of officers still say this is not a situation we should be handling. And I tell those officers, ‘Bull.’ Our job, square one, is safety and security in the community.”

– Steve Lyons, a retired Houston police officer and a board member for National Alliance of Mental Illness Tulsa, on the role of police as first responders to mental health crises (Source)


Ryan Gentzler worked at OK Policy from January 2016 until November 2022. He last served as the organization's Reserach Director and oversaw Open Justice Oklahoma. He began at OK Policy as an analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.