THE ACTIONS OF DESPONDENT OR MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE HAVE
DOMINATED SPOKANE AREA NEWS THIS WEEK AND SPOKANE'S
POLICE CHIEF IS LOOKING FOR NEW WAYS TO END THE BLOODSHED.
IN JUST THE PAST 48 HOURS, SPOKANE COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT
HAS RESPONDED TO 40 SUICIDE CALLS.
INCLUDING A MAN ON DIVISION WHO SLASHED HIS OWN THROAT.
NEAR CRISIS' CONDITIONS HIS OFFICERS ARE FACING.
SUICIDE BY COP
MENTALLY ILL OR JUST REALLY ANGRY PEOPLE ARE NOW VERY
FAMILAR WITH POLICE TACTICS AND HAVE LITTLE TROUBLE
PUSHING JUST THE RIGHT BUTTONS TO MAKE LAW ENFORCEMENT
OPEN FIRE...WHICH IS REALLY THE LAST THING OFFICERS
WANT TO DO.
WE PAY POLICE TO FIGHT CRIME BUT THESE DAYS THEY SPEND
A LOT OF THEIR TIME DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE AT
THE END OF THEIR ROPE.
THIS MORNING ,A MAN WHO FELT HE HAD NOTHING TO LIVE
WAS HOPING OFFICERS WOULD SHOOT HIM.
i was waiting for you guys to show up.
i want to die im going to make you kill me.
THE LONE OFFICER THEN HAD TO KEEP THE MAN AWAY FROM
OTHER PEOPLE IN THE AREA BUT STILL HAD TO MAINTAIN
HIS DISTANCE FROM THE KNIFE.
OTHER PATROLMEN ARRIVED AND ONE OF THEM USED HIS LONG
CHIEF FRANK STRAUB/SPOKANE POLICE 55;41 he falls to
the ground and immediately falls to the ground and
slashes his neck several times.
fortunately for us it's not a fatal series of cuts
AS BIZARRE AS THE INCIDENT SOUNDS, THESE TYPE OF SUICIDAL
CALLS HAVE BECOME ALL BUT ROUTINE FOR POLICE AND SHERIFF'S
DESPONDENT PEOPLE KNOW JUST WHAT IT TAKES TO GET OFFICERS
TO USE DEADLY FORCE AND THE CHIEF IS LOOKING FOR NEW
OPTIONS THAT DON'T INVOLVE GUNFIRE.
CHIEF FRANK STRAUB/SPOKANE POLICE DEPT.
59;22 we need to get our police officers barriers,
ballistic or other barriers that they can hold in
front of themselves, putting distance between somebody
who wants to so them harm or our community harm 59;34
THIS LIGHT-WEIGHT SHIELD IS DESIGNED TO FIT IN A PATROL
CAR BUT GIVE A LEVEL OF PROTECTION USUALLY RESERVED
FOR A SWAT TEAM.
THE NEW TOOL COULD BUY OFFICERS MORE TIME IN TENSE
CHIEF FRANK STRAUB 04;53 trying to figure out how
we deescalate these situations but part of it is my
officers have to be safe first before they can deescalate
the situation 05;03
THE CHIEF IS ALSO ADVOCATING MORE FUNDING FOR MENTAL
HEALTH PROGRAMS AND WANTS MORE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN
DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS AND THE LAW ENFORECEMENT COMMUNITY
ABOUT PATIENTS WHO ARE A DANGER TO THEMSELVES AND
REPORTING IN NORTH SPOKANE, JEFF HUMPHREY, KXLY FOUR.