BPD partnership with Guardian Angels, actor to bring awareness to mental illness

Posted at 7:00 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 19:00:16-04

The Baltimore Police Department announced a new partnership Wednesday to help bring awareness to mental illness.

Every year, people struggle through mental illness. Commissioner Kevin Davis said the police department is striving to better equip officers on how to handle someone suffering from mental illnesses.

In the partnership, The city police department will work with the Guardian Angels, a volunteer organization of unarmed patrollers, and Guy Richards, an actor and comedian.

Richards was diagnosed in 2002 with bipolar disorder. 

"I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not afraid of it," he said. "It takes a lot of courage, a lot of strength, a lot of family, friends, networking to stand behind you. It's not easy."

Richards was attending a domestic violence and bullying rally in Florida when he was introduced to Guardian Angels chapter chairman Marcus "Strider" Dent. It was at that event, the discussion on mental illness began. 

As devoted servants to their community, Dent thought it would be a great opportunity to educate his volunteers about the disease. He brought the idea to the Baltimore Police Department and the partnership was formed.

There will be a seminar, hosted by Richards, to also help the public come to an understanding about mental illness. No date has been released.

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