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Form 1's and Decreased Police Coverage

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  • Form 1's and Decreased Police Coverage

    For those that don't know a Form 1 is a form filled out by a doctor saying that a person is a danger to themselves or others and needs to be assessed at a psychiatric hospital. The form 1 means the person is going in for an automatic 72 hour assessment.

    Now where I live at night there are three cars on the road, 2 with two officers and 1 single. Any time there is someone who doesn't want to go to the hospital and the paramedics deem that they need to go they can be arrested under the mental health act (MHA) which usually means that they get a form 1. Also the officers pick people up and take them to the hospital (I'm not sure what events happen that gets the officers arresting these people under the MHA as I am not there.)

    So one they arrest someone under the MHA they take them up to the hospital and then they have to sit there until the person is seen by a crisis worker and a doctor. This is usually in excess of 3-4 hours usually 5 or 6, enough time that they usually is a shift change between the officers. When this happens that means there is one less car on the road for all of the other stuff that they normal go to.

    Now I can see this being ok if it wasn't common, but there are normally officers at the hospital at least three days out of five.

    Does anyone else have this and what are your thoughts?

  • #2
    We deal with this all the time. In my state it is referred to as a Chapter 51. Now get this. I'm in the fifth largest county in the state. On a full coverage night, there are four cars on the road. Two for the county, one in the city 16 miles south of me, and one in my city. On an average night, it is common for there to be only one county deputy, and the other city officer 16 miles south goes home at 3:00 AM. That leaves two friggen officers for the whole county. When a Ch. 51 comes in, you talking minimum of 2 hours, maximum of 8 depending on where we need to transport the person. The closest facility is one hour away, but if its full, we can end up going 4 hours away to another one. You see the problems this causes, with loss of coverage, overtime, and everything else. But, the fact is, we have no choice.
    "I only had a couple!"

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    • #3
      Here it is called a Baker Act. 5-6 hours.... that sucks. Here we take them to the mental health center, and drop them off, 10-8.
      In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

      In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

      Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

      I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


      The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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