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Arizona bill makes it easier to detain suspected mentally ill

PHOENIX -- Initial approval has been given to a bill making it easier for police to detain people believed to be a danger to themselves or others because of a mental issue.

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh said he filed the bill after reviewing current state laws following the mass shootings across the nation.

Arizona law requires an officer to directly observe someone displaying behavior that indicates they're having a severe mental issue before they can detain them for a hospital evaluation.

Kavanagh said it's a problem because the mentally ill often calm down when an officer shows up.

This bill will allow the officer to use witness information to determine there's probable cause for a mental evaluation.

The bill unanimously passed the House public safety committee Wednesday.

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