Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Project

Introduction

A crisis is a case that is characterized by, a precipitating stressor occurrence, a viewpoint that a situation will result to distress and reduced functioning when it is not possible to relieve the distress through coping resources. The previous studies suggest that crisis intervention began in the late 1940s in the response to various stressor events (Dass-Brailsford, 2010). The objective of crisis intervention is to improve stabilization and decrease chaos or a problem that was caused by a crisis. It is vivid to note that crisis intervention occurs abruptly to mean that it is not a scheduled or arranged activity.

Part one: Discussion on the role of law enforcement

The crisis intervention team is composed of a variety of professionals who are working closely with the police to assist in solving a crisis. The team comprised of advocates, consultants, law enforcement, psychologists and mental health professionals. The team plays an important role in enhancing police interactions with individuals and elevates the safety of all individuals involved in a crisis. The partnership between the police and the identified professionals has worked well to solve the crisis such as suicides (Dass-Brailsford, 2010).

The case scenario                            

As a patrol officer in your local city police department, you are dispatched to a call involving a female who is walking down the middle of a busy street. The caller of the initial complaint stated that the female was ranting and yelling at vehicles while tearing at her clothing. You arrive and observe the woman in the street yelling that the “devil” is in her shirt. She is attempting to remove her shirt by pulling at it. Traffic has ceased to move, so people are angry and have begun honking their horns and yelling out their windows. Pedestrians on the sidewalk have also stopped to stare.

Selection of appropriate officer

In a number of cases, the officers in the crisis intervention team always do volunteer. Therefore, based on the case scenario, the offer who qualifies must have proficiency in dealing with individuals with mental issues. During screening process for the intervention, it is important to consider various aspects such as maturity, and judgment in relation to the individual with the mental problem. Other important aspects to consider are like empathy, calmness, flexibility, willingness to assist and innovativeness. The case in reference involves a woman with a mental issue and the officers must have the capacity to handle the situation. 

Training of the law enforcement

Training is significant for the officers who are deemed capable of handling a crisis that involves individuals with mental problems. Based on the case scenario, it is vivid that the next thing the people around will do is to attack the woman who is a victim in this case. It is appropriate for an officer who has proficiency in crowd support, gathering information and also an element of backup support. Therefore, it is important for the officer to have such attributes during training. Moreover, the dispatchers will need special training in order to determine and provide a feedback to the mental issue calls. For instance, in the case scenario, the front-line personnel should be in a position to create the type of a case presented and subsequently assign the correct officers who have the capability in handling mental issues situation.

The steps to the crisis intervention

The first step is evaluation which is a significant step in crisis evaluation. The assessment will include both the woman and the motorists which are essential for the safety of both parties (James, 2008). For example, in this case, the woman risks a possible harm from the motorists since they are stuck in traffic which made them be angry. Nonetheless, my duty is to make sure that no one is hurt. I will then respond with empathy by first getting the woman out of the road and also assigning. To release the traffic tension that had built up, I will assign traffic officers to deal with the situation from there. The second step is involving the backup team to assist. I will then hand over the woman to the mental health experts who are part of the crisis intervention group. The mental health experts which comprise of psychologist and others will show a great concern to the woman through comfort to understand the problem even though she was the one wrong.

Part two: Plan of action for the scenario

Previous studies have shown that it is challenging for the law enforcement officers to work together when handling an individual with the mental problem. Thus, when assigning the officers to the region, the police will be accompanied by mental health professionals to the scene. This section provides a plan which the local police station applies in an event of such scenario given in the paper. The plan must acknowledge that the woman has a mental health problem and she is exposed to any risk of being beaten for blocking the road for the motorists. Therefore, in this case, the team will need a traffic officer to handle the traffic menace, a number of female and male officers and a team of mental health professionals (Roysircar, Podkova & Pignatiello, 2013).

The intervention team should keep the caller online to make sure that they locate the area of the incidence. This will involve the use of GPS to get the location online and also finds out from the caller. Moreover, the intervention team should request for important information about the woman such as age, race and also anyone with her. The team will be sent to the scene to solve and rectify the problem. First, upon arrival, the team should report their arrival and then evaluates the situation around. The team will then compare the situation with the information given by the callers for the purpose of verification. The team should then report the situation to the supervisors who are in charge of the scene. Thereafter, the team will identify the woman and establish a plan on how to approach the woman without causing more problems. This is because the target is not a normal person but mentally disturbed hence care is needed.

The police aware of the situation will then request the motorist to calm down. This should be done in a low tone simultaneously as the other team move towards the woman. Due to a large number of motorists affected, the police can use loudspeakers but this should be done after the offers in the direction of the woman have been handled. The team will use a lady since the woman has stripped her shirt meaning that she might be half naked. In such a situation, it is important for the team to maintain and practice moral commands. It is imperative that some of the incidences involving women, it is wise and considerate to use a fellow woman and the opposite is true on the side of man counterpart. The information received from the caller and the analysis indicates that the woman was stripping herself naked and this could be worse. A woman officer to handle the incident is perhaps a good idea.

The woman officer assigned in the scene will approach the woman carefully and politely and then try to have a conversation with her to see whether she can speak. Because the woman is unarmed, the team will apply force not until the woman displays a sign of hurting the officer attending to her. A backup team will be around and close to respond in case the woman becomes violent. The intervention has a team of mental health professionals who are present in the scene. Thus, since the woman displays the signs of being mentally challenged, I will assign one of the mental health professionals to assist hold up a conversation with the woman. Based on the evaluation process I had made earlier, it is ok for the team on the scene to handle the crisis because the woman risks herself and has angered the motorist on the traffic. Consequently, as the traffic officer in charge of the traffic brings back the traffic in order, I will be monitoring to find out any individual who could be having information on how the entire process started.

After holding the woman, the mental health experts will then have their turn to have a conversation with the woman to find out anyone who is close in her life such as family members or relatives. This will be important to obtain the way forward for her case and prevent further crisis in the future. Therefore, as the expert’s converse with her, I will be taking notes for making a report for further references. Moreover, the information obtains through the conversation will assist in finding out the major intentions behind the problem created on the road raising traffic. If the team find out the information about their family members or relatives, the front-liners at the office will be contacted to assist call the family and inform them about the issue and also make various relevant enquiries.

Consequently, the team will also run the woman’s identity to find out and verify whether she had previous cases similar to the present incident. It is important to perform the verification process in order to find out the next measure and actions based on the law. The prior charges will be a relief to the police and to have control over the incidence. However, it also outlines the subsequent measures for the mental health experts to take as far as the incidence is concerned (Teller, Munetz, Gil, & Ritter, 2006).

The team will then take the woman to a nearby government hospital or home for the mentally challenged individuals. However, before being taken to the mental hospital or home, the woman will be taken to the station to allow the family or relative to come. If a family comes to the station, he or she will provide the station with information relative to the woman and why allowing her to disturb the public. Therefore, with the support and clarification from the family member or relative, the team can thereby take the woman to a psychiatric hospital or home for treatment and care. The role of the crisis intervention team and the police is to restore order and peace within the society. Therefore, after apprehending the woman, it will be important to get some help to restore the woman for the benefit of the society.

Conclusion

 Crisis intervention team is composed of a variety of professionals who work together with law enforcement bodies to solve some urgent issues. The main role of the intervention group is to reduce suffering and enhance stability which may arise from aspects of individuals with a mental disability or sometimes war. The intervention begins with the assessment of the situation at hand, reactions or responses to the incident, and other factors that might impact the situation. For, example, the case scenario outlines a mentally challenged woman who ends up causing some problems on the road leading to traffic problems. The inclusion and the use of police in the intervention call for appropriate choice and also training of the officers desired for any intervention. The training makes the officers be proficient in solving the crisis. However, in most cases, the officers making up the intervention team volunteers.

The police and mental health experts play a significant role in the crisis intervention team. Police make sure that the suspects are safe from any harm by offering a good security system. On the other hand, the mental health professionals always make sure that a mentally challenged suspect is handled with care. For example, in the case scenario, a mentally challenged woman causing traffic crisis among the public receives attention from the mental health professionals. The team plays an important role in enhancing police interactions with individuals and elevates the safety of all individuals involved in a crisis.

References

James, R. (2008). Crisis intervention strategies — 6th edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson

Dass-Brailsford, P. (2010). Effective disaster and crisis interventions. Crisis and disaster counselling: Lessons learned from hurricane Katrina and other disasters, 213-228.

Roysircar, G., Podkova, M., & Pignatiello, V. (2013). Crisis intervention, social class, and counselling: Macrolevel disaster effects. The Oxford Handbook of Social Class and Counseling, 144-163.

Teller, J. L., Munetz, M. R., Gil, K. M., & Ritter, C. (2006). Crisis intervention team training for police officers responding to mental disturbance calls. Psychiatric services, 57(2), 232-237.

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