Senate Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they plan to introduce a package of bills aimed at reducing violence by emotionally disturbed individuals following the slaying of six people near UC Santa Barbara.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said Friday’s killings in Isla Vista raised several questions about the adequacy of current efforts to identify people who may be a threat to themselves or others. The alleged shooter in Friday's rampage, Elliot Rodger, had long been in therapy and had been prescribed psychotropic drugs but declined to take them.
“There is a lot we can do to prevent these kinds of horrific events in the future,” Steinberg said in a speech on the Senate floor after the upper house held a moment of silence for those killed.
The Senate leader said the state has provided money to train 30 special intervention teams in police agencies in 30 counties so they can identify potentially violent people.
“Should we have a more expansive statewide protocol for all law enforcement officials?” Steinberg asked his colleagues, adding that doing so “can help avert these types of tragedies.”
Steinberg noted that law enforcement officers interviewed Rodger in April after his parents raised concerns and he posted a threatening video on the Internet.
“He had bought guns that were in the [state computer record-keeping] system,” Steinberg noted, suggesting a statewide protocol should require law enforcement officers to check to see if people suspected of being mentally ill have recently purchased firearms.
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