Phoenix police handled a very difficult situation where a man who suffers from schizophrenia wanted to harm others. According to the ABC 15 News reporting.
At one point, the man had a knife and lunged at an officer. It is reported the police officer drew his gun and thought about using it to protect himself, he ultimately did not use it. The situation was diffused and the man was taken in for a psychiatric evaluation.
The result was not the same in mid-August where a woman wielding a hammer was killed during a mental health call when a Phoenix police officer shot her.
Looking through the index of the Phoenix Police Department Operation Orders it appears the section Mental Health Orders Tactical Response 9.7.3.F governs how mental health calls are dealt with.
I cannot analyze or share with the readers Section 9.7.3.F because it is restricted in the copy Operation Orders I have. As this topic is in the news a few times recently, I will file an public records request and see if I can get access to this particular provision and shed some light on how Phoenix Police are expected to dealt with mental health calls.
It is important to note, once again, the Phoenix Police estimate they serve ten mental health calls a day. It appears the vast majority of these are handled successfully without incident, such as the present case. The police are put in a very complex and potentially very dangerous situation when dealing with mental health calls.
One residual thought I have from both incidents is why are guns only mentioned as weapons the police used or considered? It is curious that non-lethal options are not mentioned. It is not clear from the news articles if non-lethal means were available or used. The Operation Orders should be able to provide a clearer picture about this. And I hope it is a question that can be answered.