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Police: Criteria must be met when making mental health check

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in a rampage in the California area of Isla Vista, was visited by sheriff's deputies just one month prior to the attack.

That left some wondering why something wasn't done then, but according to Lt. Steve Hauck with the Utica Police Department, it's not that easy.

According to Hauck, police look for two criteria: Is there an apparent mental illness, and is the person a danger to himself or others?

"You have all the criteria you have to meet to make a normal arrest for, say, the penal law," Hauck said. "you have the same type of criteria for a mental health law evaluation. If we take someone into custody, deprive them of their freedom, we have to have just as much probable cause."

Also, according to Hauck, one criteria may be met and not the other, and often there's just not enough evidence to make an arrest.
 

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