Police shooting prompts DeWine to push for help for mentally ill

Man, 42, struggled with mental illness and alcoholism his entire life.
MCT Regional News
Nov 13, 2013

A July incident in which a Yellow Springs man was killed by a SWAT team officer after firing 191 shots from his residence prompted Attorney General Mike DeWine to push for more treatment for the mentally ill.

DeWine on Tuesday said after an investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation that the death of Paul E. Schenck, 42, on July 30 will be submitted to a Greene County grand jury to determine if “the evidence shows criminal misconduct or a justifiable shooting.”

Schenck struggled with mental illness and alcoholism his entire life, DeWine’s report shows. Schenck’s mother said there was “a civil war inside of Paulie that he could not win.”

In a statement, DeWine said the case “while tragic, is not unusual in the fact that there are many Ohioans who are suffering from mental illness, and in need of more treatment options...There is not enough money and the current law makes it difficult for parents of adult children with mental illness to force hospitalizations and treatments.”

DeWine said it has been 25 years since the Ohio General Assembly enacted sweeping reforms by passing the Mental Health Act of Ohio. “Perhaps it is time to call for a comprehensive, independent study of Ohio’s mental health system to see what is working, what isn’t working and how can we do better?” he said.

DeWine said he supports legislation proposed earlier this year that would expand the ability of courts to order someone to undergo mandatory outpatient treatment under certain circumstances.

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Alan Johnson - By The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

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