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Mental Health Holds and Officer Safety

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  • Mental Health Holds and Officer Safety

    So in the last week or so, I went to a call of a paranoid young man who thought his mother was trying to poison him. The officers in my beat were tied up on a DV call so it was just me for the first 4 minutes or so.......then upon clearing the DV call, every officer (besides the one transporting the DV suspect to jail) came racing code 3 to my location. Interesting. I found out this young man has been detained for 5150 (Mental Health Hold) on 2 prior occasions by my dept. The first time involved a weapon, numerous taser deployments - a long, protracted "arrest" process. The other time, this man doused the front door and walkway of his house with lighter fluid and that time, when the first officer made entry......(well thank God lighter fluid does not ignite well outside of the lighter).

    So why am I writing all this? Because, my department, including the dispatcher, gave me no information whatsoever about the circumstances I was potentially walking into. Our computer system, which is web-based, does not provide an option for officers to enter information (IE: RP, V, S, SA, A, P) about mental health holds!!! Now, if I know the person's name I can do a search (if it is specifically related to a case I am working on) and pull the reports which depict what transpired during the last 2 incidents. But No Flag when a subject has been violent with officers in past? The administrative LT. says it HIPPA related. Do your agencies just let you walk into situations like this?

  • #2
    Your CAD system should include a premise history section that flags officer safety issues. If not, your union should be pressing for it as an officer safety issue. With respect to HIPAA, law enforcement agencies are not a 'covered entity. For purposes of HIPAA analysis, records generated by police officers do not contain 'protected health information,' and such records are therefore not covered by HIPAA's Privacy Rule."

    The privacy rule defines "covered entity" as a health plan, a health clearinghouse, or a health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form. That's not you. No doubt some well meaning CYA chairborn ranger just assumed it pertained to cops when it didn't, without researching the law. Do your homework and make the appropriate presentation in writing to resolve this issue.

    By your use of the term 5150 I'm going to guess you are in California. Start perusing the California Labor Code. In it you will find a section requiring employers to provide their employees (at no cost) with safety equipment. Now, interpreting this law to mean that a CAD system with premise history could be classified as "safety equipment" might be viewed as "making sh*t up". Nonetheless, it is a good argument for your union to pursue.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      By your Admin Lt’s logic (that this is a hippa thing) why are you even responding to this house?

      What bothers me is is that your beat partners never used their radios or a cell phone to notify you to stage before contacting the person or to tell radio to hold off on that call until they were clear. Seems like there were lots of issues to learn from.

      And if it was just you, where was your Supervisor? It’s his or her responsibility to manage the team and calls and prioritize when your team is tapped out.
      semper destravit

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by L-1 View Post
        Your CAD system should include a premise history section that flags officer safety issues. If not, your union should be pressing for it as an officer safety issue. With respect to HIPAA, law enforcement agencies are not a 'covered entity. For purposes of HIPAA analysis, records generated by police officers do not contain 'protected health information,' and such records are therefore not covered by HIPAA's Privacy Rule."

        The privacy rule defines "covered entity" as a health plan, a health clearinghouse, or a health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form. That's not you. No doubt some well meaning CYA chairborn ranger just assumed it pertained to cops when it didn't, without researching the law. Do your homework and make the appropriate presentation in writing to resolve this issue.

        By your use of the term 5150 I'm going to guess you are in California. Start perusing the California Labor Code. In it you will find a section requiring employers to provide their employees (at no cost) with safety equipment. Now, interpreting this law to mean that a CAD system with premise history could be classified as "safety equipment" might be viewed as "making sh*t up". Nonetheless, it is a good argument for your union to pursue.
        I couldn't agree with you more. Our POA is looking into this, specifically, checking with counsel. I don't know if they have replied yet...as to a solution. But I don't want to walk too far down the opsec path here, but you would be surprised. We are not the only agency with this problem!

        RGDS, my supervisor (Sergeant) was one of the other officers on the other call. And to be fair, I left my cell phone in the car. That's my fault - I like flat pockets. At the Sergeant's direction, another officer called me a few times. IMO, they should have had dispatch tell me to answer my phone. Could have been anyone calling for all I know and I didn't even here it ring, from where I was. From my end, I'll learn from that: I am always carrying my brick Iphone and have assigned a different ringtone so I know it's my back up.
        Last edited by TNelson; 07-31-2018, 11:29 PM. Reason: Didn't post in the first place.

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        • #5
          It’s pretty obvious why that lop of a lieutenant is in admin instead of the real PD.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TNelson View Post

            - I like flat pockets. .
            Is that really worth your life ?
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              Jesus. Costume look is more important than living. So...THAT changes the entire situation. They DID try to contact you. You chose to take actions that stopped you from receiving that call...because you are worried about how cool you look.

              Your SGT should be ripping you a new one.
              Now go home and get your shine box!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RGDS View Post
                By your Admin Lt’s logic (that this is a hippa thing) why are you even responding to this house?

                What bothers me is is that your beat partners never used their radios or a cell phone to notify you to stage before contacting the person or to tell radio to hold off on that call until they were clear. Seems like there were lots of issues to learn from.

                And if it was just you, where was your Supervisor? It’s his or her responsibility to manage the team and calls and prioritize when your team is tapped out.
                Don't want to go too far off topic, I agree 110% re supervisor responsibilities.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have left my phone in the car. It sucks!
                  USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                  "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                  DA Civilian Police Officer, APG MD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J2H View Post
                    I have left my phone in the car. It sucks!

                    Related image


                    Something you don't want to do in the Bay Area.
                    Last edited by BTDT2; 08-02-2018, 11:20 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, to be fair the patrol car was locked :-)
                      USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                      "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                      DA Civilian Police Officer, APG MD

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                        Jesus. Costume look is more important than living. So...THAT changes the entire situation. They DID try to contact you. You chose to take actions that stopped you from receiving that call...because you are worried about how cool you look.

                        Your SGT should be ripping you a new one.
                        Or alternatively, the address' prior call history should have been communicated to me IN FULL BEFORE I even showed up. Other officer didn't start calling till I was out of the car, in the house - had to have been at least a minute after arrival. Most of our guys, and gals, don't carry cell phones out of the the car - looks unprofessional answering a call, or even worse....texting. That will actually get you a written reprimand here. Agency policy does not require us to have cell phones period.

                        Iowa, you're right. I got it. Been carrying it since this happened. Just not really looking forward to my next foot pursuit with a brick in my pocket.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TNelson View Post

                          Or alternatively, the address' prior call history should have been communicated to me IN FULL BEFORE I even showed up. Other officer didn't start calling till I was out of the car, in the house - had to have been at least a minute after arrival.
                          Life would be great if it was perfect........................but nothing is perfect in this profession and you will ALWAYS be in a situation where you don't know the whole story.

                          I have been in this business for over 40 yrs...................it hasn't changed much in that regard. In the past one had to rely on the collective memories of the people on duty whereas now CAD will often show call history..................but there will still be gaps and other screw ups.

                          THAT IS WHY THE OFFICER HAS TO USE EVERY TOOL IN THEIR BOX TO KEEP THEMSELVES AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE and not rely on others to do so


                          Technology is fantastic.........................probably the best tool you have today in your squad car is that cell phone. CAD, GPS, Mapping programs, radar and such help us with our duties.....................the cell phone is NORMALLY much more reliable than our portable radios

                          RANT OFF


                          Originally posted by TNelson View Post
                          Most of our guys, and gals, don't carry cell phones out of the the car - looks unprofessional answering a call, or even worse....texting. That will actually get you a written reprimand here. Agency policy does not require us to have cell phones period.
                          Foolish

                          This is 2018 & the cell phone is an integral part of policing today.

                          My sheriff communicates with us via cell phone and text much more than on the radio due to convenience but even more-so due to the security of the phones. Hell even the dispatcher will text me information if something comes up and they think it is important enough to interrupt me.

                          'professional looking' is a subjective phrase. Subject to the preference of someone who doesn't matter

                          SAFETY ........................Well that is what counts to me
                          Last edited by Iowa #1603; 08-03-2018, 07:17 AM.
                          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TNelson View Post

                            Or alternatively, the address' prior call history should have been communicated to me IN FULL BEFORE I even showed up. Other officer didn't start calling till I was out of the car, in the house - had to have been at least a minute after arrival. Most of our guys, and gals, don't carry cell phones out of the the car - looks unprofessional answering a call, or even worse....texting. That will actually get you a written reprimand here. Agency policy does not require us to have cell phones period.

                            Iowa, you're right. I got it. Been carrying it since this happened. Just not really looking forward to my next foot pursuit with a brick in my pocket.
                            Have you considered carrying a smaller, lightweight basic cellphone for on duty use? There are lots of reasons NOT to use your personal cellphone on duty...with size/weight just being one of them. Basic talk and text is all you need. Keep your personal iPhone in your car, carry a basic phone with you, and make sure dispatch has your "on duty" number.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J2H View Post
                              Well, to be fair the patrol car was locked :-)

                              Related image




                              ^^^^^ freeway warning sign .

                              My jurisdiction dispatches a minimum of two units on every call, one to handle call and one to protect department vehicles. jk






                              Posted tongue in cheek
                              Last edited by BTDT2; 08-02-2018, 01:10 PM.

                              Comment

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