Laura Bargeld
Laura Bargfeld Loh-ruh Barge-feld (they/them/theirs)
Hearst Foundation Fellow

Laura Bargfeld is a graduate journalism student at the Cronkite school at Arizona State University. Their background is in freelance writing, audio and film production. They currently work as a health disparities reporting fellow at Cronkite News.

Police, public and policymakers work to improve responses to mental health crises

SALT LAKE CITY – Police have become the de facto mental health responders across the country, often with tragic results. Most strategies to deal with mental health calls focus on shifting funds to social services, creating diversion programs and better training for officers. Experts say the solution relies on a combination of efforts.

Rae Duckworth holds a “Justice for Bobby” sticker on July 2, 2022, near murals in Salt Lake City remembering the victims of police shootings. After her cousin, Bobby Duckworth, was killed during a mental health call in 2019, Duckworth began passing out these stickers to keep his memory alive. (Photo by Laura Bargfeld/News21)

Police unions play multiple roles in reform efforts

MADISON, Wisc. – The power dynamic with some police unions has shifted – whether by choice or force. Some union leaders have tried to lead change, others have made concessions and some are fighting to maintain their power.

Police departments test ways to improve officers’ mental health

Law enforcement officers report higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts. Police officials say departments should implement comprehensive officer support programs – and address potential problems before they can “mushroom.”

Artists depict people killed in police encounters

SALT LAKE CITY – Across the U.S., artists paint murals to memorialize victims of police violence. For some, they serve as public gravesites, spaces of remembrance and community. For others, they are difficult reminders of loss.