© 2022 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:
WGBYWFCRWNNZWNNUWNNZ-FMWNNI

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
NEPM Header Banner
PBS. NPR. Local Perspective.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Springfield City Council creates mental health committee after fatal shooting by police

Zaida Govan is a city councilor in Springfield, Massachusetts.
File photo / Douglas Hook
/
MassLive / MassLive.com
Zaida Govan is a city councilor in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts, is creating a mental health committee, partly in response to a recent fatal shooting by police.

Orlando Taylor died in January after he was shot by a police officer during what Taylor's family said was a mental health crisis. The Hampden District Attorney's office ruled the shooting "reasonable and unavoidable" because Taylor attacked the officer with a knife.

City Councilor Zaida Govan said shoring up the region's mental health services, especially given the pandemic, could help prevent similar tragedies.

Govan, herself a social worker, will chair the mental health committee. She said she hopes it will shine a light on — even if it can't fix — a stressed system.

"I think we'll be able to come up with a plan to at least help the agencies that are already serving possibly encourage other agencies to step up and maybe participate in the work," Govan said. "I think a collaborative effort would be a lot more helpful than what's happening now."

Starting in about two months, Govan said the committee will talk to mental health professionals, police, and community members.

Karen is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998. Her features and documentaries have won a number of national awards, including the National Edward R. Murrow Award, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) Award, Third Coast Audio Festival Award, and the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize.
Related Content