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Arrachion
10-15-09, 03:04 AM
I'm employed in the security department of a Houston medical complex that includes a separate psychiatric hospital. The psychiatric hospital has gun safes at each of the two entrances for law enforcement officers to stow their weapons before entering. The Houston PD officers who work extra security jobs with us and those who are on city time dutifully secure their weapons before entering. I know for a fact that the HPD General Orders has a section forbidding armed officers from entering a psychiatric facility except under the most extreme circumstances.

The problem is that the security department has also hired police officers from another agency to work extra jobs at the medical complex, and they refuse to secure their weapons when dispatched to routine calls to the psychiatric hospital. As a result, the security supervisor has to instruct those officers to disregard the calls to keep them from entering the psychiatric hospital with their weapons.

It is my understanding that there is some state code forbidding armed officers from entering psychiatric facilities and that the HPD General Orders simply incorporated the excerpt from the state code. I've done a lot of online searching but haven't been able to find the code in question, however. Can any Texas officers help me out here? If I can cite the appropriate state code to the security department, the department might be able to use that to enforce compliance from the officers from the other agency.

Thanks!


Curt581
10-15-09, 09:36 AM
Simple solution: Have the Security Dept hire only those officers willing to disarm, instead of trying to find a statute to hammer the other officers into complying.

If it were me, I'd tell you to keep your side job.

txinvestigator1
10-15-09, 01:46 PM
It is my understanding that there is some state code forbidding armed officers from entering psychiatric facilities There is not.


retdetsgt
10-15-09, 01:50 PM
In Oregon, entering a psychiatric facility is like entering a jail. No guns allowed, pretty much for the same reasons.

TX-LEO
10-18-09, 10:48 PM
Private Hospital, no.

If it's run by Texas and is a JAIL, then yes.

Otherwise, don't worry about it.

phantasm
10-18-09, 11:56 PM
NY no guns in psych ward either. Different hospitals have different ways of securing them, but none allow us to go in with a loaded gun.

txinvestigator1
10-19-09, 12:15 AM
Private Hospital, no.

If it's run by Texas and is a JAIL, then yes.

Otherwise, don't worry about it.


Policy is one thing; however, the section in Penal Code 46.03 that prohibits the carry of weapons in a correctional facility does not apply to peace officers. You DON"T carry there because of policy.

The OP is looking for law to support their policy.

Arrachion
10-19-09, 03:12 AM
Otherwise, don't worry about it.

Well, since I've had to respond to stat calls in the psychiatric hospital by myself because the police officers who should have been backing me up refused to secure their weapons, I do worry about it.

Arrachion
10-19-09, 02:34 PM
A little background on the siutation: Many years ago before I assumed my present supervisory duties, there was an incident in the psychiatric hospital where a patient went for an HPD officer's weapon. After that incident, the psychiatric hospital adopted a "no weapons" policy, and if I remember correctly the justification for doing so was research turning up a state code of some kind prohibiting armed officers from entering psychiatric hospitals. I remember a hospital administrator actually holding up a photocopy of the code and reading it to us.

Fast forward: Several psychiatric hospital directors and several security department directors later, the documentation for the no weapons policy has gotten lost in the shuffle. The old time HPD remember it and abide by it (it also turned out that HPD general orders also prohibit armed officers from entering psychiatric hospitals), but the newer hires from the other agency aren't aware of it and aren't aware of anything in their general orders about it. I didn't hire the people from the other agency; my superior did. But I'm the one getting caught without adequate backup. I reported the situation to my superior, and the department is attempting to reconstruct the documentation of hospital policy so that the choir will all be on the same page so to speak.

Now txinvestigator1 has posted that there is no such state code, so perhaps I'm mistaken or the the code has been rescinded. Then again, it might be a code so obscurely tucked away that few are aware of it. This is more than just an issue of police officer extra jobs; its a matter of an institution--bound by all kinds of regulations and accreditation standards--going by the book.

Curt581
10-19-09, 07:01 PM
This sounds suspiciously like a private security supervisor trying to extend his authority over police officers and is looking for a statute that covers a particular issue, in order to force compliance. Have you considered stomping your feet and holding your breath until they do what you tell them?

A couple questions spring to mind...

Why is the hospital hiring individually or contracting with the city to have sworn police officers on staff? Wouldn't hiring another security guard be cheaper? Were the police hired because they can legally perform some function that private security can't, such as file an emergency psychiatric detention order or hold? Seems awful strange... in light of so many company's efforts to downsize, cut costs, and short-staff... that the hospital administration would be willing to spend the extra money hiring police officers instead of less expensive private security officers.

If you told your supervisor of the problems in getting the officers to comply with policy, why isn't HE doing something about hiring only those officers willing to comply OR working with the other agency to address these problems? Why are YOU having to do it?

Why aren't you calling other security officers to respond to back you up... you know, the people who are actually under your supervision?

I've seen this kind of thing before. My agency occasionally has to run a hospital watch on a prisoner being treated medically at a certain area hospital. Without fail, every time we have one, the hospital security staff sends a representative with a series of forms for the officer to fill out and sign, individually agreeing to follow all hospital policies and to subordinate himself to the supervision of security staff.

The trouble is, some of the hospital's policies directly conflict with our agency policies and training... like agreeing to abide by the decisions of security supervisors in certain situations, restrictions on use of certain restraints, and use of certain types of force. Our command staff has told us to politely refuse to complete the forms or sign anything. The hospital doesn't like it very much, but so far they haven't refused us when we've got a prisoner that needs medical treatment.

Simple solution: Hire those officers willing to comply, and don't hire those unwilling to do so. This aint rocket science.

retdetsgt
10-19-09, 08:54 PM
Simple solution: Hire those officers willing to comply, and don't hire those unwilling to do so. This aint rocket science.

That pretty much covers it.:beatdeadhorse5:

L-1
10-19-09, 10:40 PM
As the others have said, this appears to be more of a conflict with the responding department's policies and training.

In my state, bringing weapons into a state prison or jail is prohibited without the consent of the person in charge of the facility. State prisons routinely prohibit peace officers from bringing weapons into their facilities. My agency respects that policy. However, we require that our personnel be armed when engaged in the performance of their duties. For that reason, we have notified the State Prison system that we will not respond to calls for assistance or mutual aid inside their prisons unless they consent to our officers being armed when doing so.

retdetsgt
10-19-09, 11:36 PM
However, we require that our personnel be armed when engaged in the performance of their duties. For that reason, we have notified the State Prison system that we will not respond to calls for assistance or mutual aid inside their prisons unless they consent to our officers being armed when doing so.

If a prison has to call regular cops in, I would suspect it's deteriorated to the point weapons are needed.

Personally, I wouldn't think it would be advantageous to contract with a police dept to provide security for a hospital anyway. It's not like they're using police skills as much as providing muscle when the regular staff can't handle the situation.

Arrachion
10-20-09, 04:02 AM
Have you considered stomping your feet and holding your breath until they do what you tell them?

I didn't have to stomp my feet and hold my breath until they did what I told them. When we were dispatched to that disturbance call in the psychiatric hospital and I saw that they were going to enter without securing their weapons, I told them not to enter the psychiatric hospital and they didn't.


Were the police hired because they can legally perform some function that private security can't

Yes


If you told your supervisor of the problems in getting the officers to comply with policy, why isn't HE doing something about hiring only those officers willing to comply OR working with the other agency to address these problems? Why are YOU having to do it?

Actually several of us are researching the issue, including an HPD captain who found the general order stating that armed HPD officers couldn't enter a psychiatric hospital. The new security director certainly isn't going to be doing any future hiring from the other agency; the problem is dealing with the situation involving the ones that have already been hired. And guess what? If our research shows that there is no state code prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric facility and that the general orders of the other agency contain no similar prohibition, I'll be perfectly okay with that.


Why aren't you calling other security officers to respond to back you up... you know, the people who are actually under your supervision?

The police officers and I were the only ones available to respond to the call. (And they were under my supervision.)


the hospital security staff sends a representative with a series of forms for the officer to fill out and sign, individually agreeing to follow all hospital policies and to subordinate himself to the supervision of security staff

When we have a "forensic patient," we give the law enforcement agency sitting on the patient a little information handout pointing out the nearest routes out of the building in case of a fire, what a "code blue" is, and so on.


Simple solution: Hire those officers willing to comply, and don't hire those unwilling to do so. This aint rocket science.

Yes, but again the problem is that the ones from the other agency unwilling to comply have already been hired. And again, this goes beyond police officer extra jobs. For example, what if a police officer from an outlying municipality arrives at the psychiatric hospital to take a statement from a complainant who is a patient in the psychiatric hospital? Is the police officer obliged by state code to secure his weapon? If not, could the psychiatric hospital staff be charged with interfering with a peace officer in the performance of his duties if they don't allow him up with his weapon?

Piggy
10-20-09, 09:03 AM
The VA system which operates a few hundred psych facilities has that problem solved. They issue out firearms with a magazine disconnect feature. When an Officer goes onto the psych unit, the magazine is removed and placed into your pocket. If things go bad, the Officer still has a tool to react, yet if the Officer is disarmed the bad guy is holding a gun that won't fire.

retdetsgt
10-20-09, 12:12 PM
For example, what if a police officer from an outlying municipality arrives at the psychiatric hospital to take a statement from a complainant who is a patient in the psychiatric hospital? Is the police officer obliged by state code to secure his weapon? If not, could the psychiatric hospital staff be charged with interfering with a peace officer in the performance of his duties if they don't allow him up with his weapon?

Whenever I've had to go to the Oregon State Psychiatric hospital to interview a patient, they brought the patient out to the public area and I interviewed them in an office there. They had one or two aides with the patient, depending on the risk posed.

Although none I ever interviewed required it, I assume most hospitals of that type have some sort of restraints if needed. That way I never had to enter the secure area and I got my job done with little fuss.

We had a similar incident at a private hospital where the uniform officer was called to take a report from a patient. The officer called me because they wouldn't allow him in armed and he refused to disarm. I talked to the head nurse who, upon thinking about it, realized the 9 year old girl he was sent to talk to probably wasn't a horrible threat to anyone so they allowed her out long enough for him to do his job.:rolleyes5:

Too often, people get so caught up in rules that they don't see simple solutions.

Curt581
10-20-09, 01:26 PM
Q: Were the police hired because they can legally perform some function that private security can't?
A: Yes

And that function would be... what?


Actually several of us are researching the issue, including an HPD captain who found the general order stating that armed HPD officers couldn't enter a psychiatric hospital. The new security director certainly isn't going to be doing any future hiring from the other agency; the problem is dealing with the situation involving the ones that have already been hired. And guess what? If our research shows that there is no state code prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric facility and that the general orders of the other agency contain no similar prohibition, I'll be perfectly okay with that.

What's stopping you from terminating the employment of the officers you have who fail to comply with this policy?

Lets back up a bit... Are these officers employed individually, or is this a result of a contract with their agency?

If it is a contract with a police agency, are these assignments voluntary, or are they assigned as part of their officers' regular duties?

If it is a contract with a police agency, why hasn't there been an attempt to clarify or work this out with the agency, as with HPD?

I think it's more than a little strange that your responses seem to only raise more questions.


The police officers and I were the only ones available to respond to the call. (And they were under my supervision.)

Really? Somehow, I find that hard to believe without ALOT more clarification. See my questions above. That sounds like a major can-of-worms.

I can't speak for other officers, but I would never voluntarily subordinate myself to, or take orders from, a private security supervisor. My legal and ethical responsibilities in many situations are much different than yours.


When we have a "forensic patient," we give the law enforcement agency sitting on the patient a little information handout pointing out the nearest routes out of the building in case of a fire, what a "code blue" is, and so on.

That's nice. I posted my experience to illustrate why having a representative (you) from a private company (and that's what a hospital is) attempting to exert control over a government official is a bad idea. You have company policy, which is meant to further corporate interests and limit liability. We have State law and department policy. Sometimes those two sets of aims directly conflict.



Yes, but again the problem is that the ones from the other agency unwilling to comply have already been hired. And again, this goes beyond police officer extra jobs. For example, what if a police officer from an outlying municipality arrives at the psychiatric hospital to take a statement from a complainant who is a patient in the psychiatric hospital? Is the police officer obliged by state code to secure his weapon? If not, could the psychiatric hospital staff be charged with interfering with a peace officer in the performance of his duties if they don't allow him up with his weapon?

One other thing you've failed to define is, what constitutes a "psychiatric hospital" for the purposes of the statute you seem to believe exists? Does your hospital meet that criteria? Is this a locked facility, in that, are patients allowed to refuse treatment, or are they allowed to sign themselves out? Would an outpatient treatment facility qualify? Are your patients of the type or category that would make disarming a police officer desirable or necessary?

See what I mean about a legal "can-of-worms"?

Curt581
10-20-09, 01:31 PM
Too often, people get so caught up in rules that they don't see simple solutions.

HUGE +1

Too often, people with some limited authority try to use rules to extend that authority over people it was never meant to cover.

Is this whole discussion about SAFETY, or is it about exercising influence?

retdetsgt
10-20-09, 08:00 PM
Too often, people with some limited authority try to use rules to extend that authority over people it was never meant to cover.



Like we used to say in the Army, there's nothing more dangerous than a PFC with a clipboard. Well, maybe a 2nd Lt with a map, I dunno.:skep:

Arrachion
10-21-09, 12:35 AM
I'm going to go over a few things here before I move on to addressing some of the questions raised above. The HPD officers working with us have in their general orders a prohibition against armed officers entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme conditions, and they secure their weapons before going into the psychiatric hospital on routine calls. There are a couple of other officers from another agency who, when pointed to the gun safe, replied that they could not secure their weapons because that was against their department's policy.

Now here's the thing: One of the instances of an officer's having to be pulled from a call to the psychiatric hospital because the officer wouldn't secure his weapon involved an HPD officer who made the same excuse as the officers from the other agency--he couldn't secure his weapon because it was against his department's policy. He was completely unaware that tucked away in the rather lengthy HPD general order on weapons were a few lines stating that armed officers were prohibited from entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme circumstances. The point is that police officers sometimes aren't as familiar with their own general orders as they should be. Could this be the case with the officers with the other agency as well? Someone else is looking into that matter.

Now if there is a state code out there prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme conditions, that would streamline hospital policy in dealing with this situation whether it concerns the officers from the other agency working at the hospital or those from other agencies at the hospital on official business. If there is no such state code, however, and the prohibition clauses regarding armed officers in psychiatric hospitals are a local phenomenon, embedded in the general orders of some agencies but not of others, the hospital will have to adjust its policy to deal with the situation accordingly.

If it turns out that there is no state code governing the matter and that the officers from the other agency have no prohibition clause in their general orders--and perhaps even have instructions in their general orders not to disarm under any circumstances--I would be remiss in expecting them to disobey their general orders.

Piggy
10-21-09, 08:46 AM
I'm going to go over a few things here before I move on to addressing some of the questions raised above. The HPD officers working with us have in their general orders a prohibition against armed officers entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme conditions, and they secure their weapons before going into the psychiatric hospital on routine calls. There are a couple of other officers from another agency who, when pointed to the gun safe, replied that they could not secure their weapons because that was against their department's policy.

Now here's the thing: One of the instances of an officer's having to be pulled from a call to the psychiatric hospital because the officer wouldn't secure his weapon involved an HPD officer who made the same excuse as the officers from the other agency--he couldn't secure his weapon because it was against his department's policy. He was completely unaware that tucked away in the rather lengthy HPD general order on weapons were a few lines stating that armed officers were prohibited from entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme circumstances. The point is that police officers sometimes aren't as familiar with their own general orders as they should be. Could this be the case with the officers with the other agency as well? Someone else is looking into that matter.

Now if there is a state code out there prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric hospital except under extreme conditions, that would streamline hospital policy in dealing with this situation whether it concerns the officers from the other agency working at the hospital or those from other agencies at the hospital on official business. If there is no such state code, however, and the prohibition clauses regarding armed officers in psychiatric hospitals are a local phenomenon, embedded in the general orders of some agencies but not of others, the hospital will have to adjust its policy to deal with the situation accordingly.

If it turns out that there is no state code governing the matter and that the officers from the other agency have no prohibition clause in their general orders--and perhaps even have instructions in their general orders not to disarm under any circumstances--I would be remiss in expecting them to disobey their general orders.

If I was the only guy, only one of 1-2 Officers on the ward with a gun, I would consider that extreme circumstances.

I guess I don't understand why you need the PD. Either take care of a situation yourself, or allow them to have guns.

Arrachion
10-21-09, 02:42 PM
Whenever I've had to go to the Oregon State Psychiatric hospital to interview a patient, they brought the patient out to the public area and I interviewed them in an office there. They had one or two aides with the patient, depending on the risk posed.

Although none I ever interviewed required it, I assume most hospitals of that type have some sort of restraints if needed. That way I never had to enter the secure area and I got my job done with little fuss.

We had a similar incident at a private hospital where the uniform officer was called to take a report from a patient. The officer called me because they wouldn't allow him in armed and he refused to disarm. I talked to the head nurse who, upon thinking about it, realized the 9 year old girl he was sent to talk to probably wasn't a horrible threat to anyone so they allowed her out long enough for him to do his job.:rolleyes5:

Too often, people get so caught up in rules that they don't see simple solutions.

You mentioned earlier that in Oregon armed officers couldn't enter a psychiatric facility. So why was the officer you mentioned above not willing to disarm? Is there something in your general orders that specifically prohibits officers from disarming? Or is there a clause in your general orders reflecting the state policy that armed officers can't enter a pyschiatric facility, meaning that the officer could have disarmed without violating his general orders. Was the issue basically that he thought the facility could accommodate him because the subject was a young child?

What if the situation didn't involve a child but an adult, and the public area was close to the main exit? The patient bolts (he had never shown signs of flight risk before, but remember, psychiatric patients can be unpredictable), makes it out the door, runs into the street, and gets run over by a car and killed. The liability issues would be much greater if it could be shown that the officer could have lawfully disarmed (in which case the patient wouldn't have been able to elope) but chose not to and demanded an accommodation, than if the accommodation was made because his general orders prevented him from disarming under any circumstances.

The liability issues become even more complex where there is no state code prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric facility.

retdetsgt
10-21-09, 04:15 PM
You mentioned earlier that in Oregon armed officers couldn't enter a psychiatric facility. So why was the officer you mentioned above not willing to disarm?


I didn't say there was a law against it, it's just a matter of policy that we always observe in jails and can observe in mental facilities. A couple of years ago, a mental patient in a private facility got hold of some sort of metal rod from a door and attacked a staff member, causing some serious injuries. They called the police, but when the police got there, the staff said they couldn't enter armed. The police told them they would either enter armed or leave. They were allowed entry and ended up killing the patient who had gone completely berserk. Had they not been armed, who knows what would have happened?

In that case mentioned, he wouldn't have taken the report. There's no law requiring us to enter someplace unarmed to take a report either. Sometimes the officer is willing, but that's their choice. We're not going to shop for someone who will do that though. One call = one officer.


What if the situation didn't involve a child but an adult, and the public area was close to the main exit?

You don't have restraints of some kind in your facility?

Arrachion
10-22-09, 02:17 AM
A couple of years ago, a mental patient in a private facility got hold of some sort of metal rod from a door and attacked a staff member, causing some serious injuries. They called the police, but when the police got there, the staff said they couldn't enter armed.

This is a perfect illustration of an adage we have down here that in the psych hospital it's sometimes difficult to distinguish the patients from the staff. The HPD general orders state that under extreme circumstances psych hospital staff may indeed approve armed entry.


You don't have restraints of some kind in your facility?

They have to be approved by a doctor and used to restrain an out of control patient. You can't just strap a patient to a dolly like Hannibal Lecter and wheel him to the lobby for an interview because you're afraid he might bolt.

retdetsgt
10-22-09, 11:24 AM
They have to be approved by a doctor and used to restrain an out of control patient. You can't just strap a patient to a dolly like Hannibal Lecter and wheel him to the lobby for an interview because you're afraid he might bolt.

Here at least, if the officer didn't want to remove his firearm to enter and the facility refused to bring the patient out, a report wouldn't be taken. But frankly, I can't recall ever having a situation where a male mental patient needed to make a report. My experience has been that it's always been children who are in the facility as a result of abuse.

Arrachion
10-23-09, 02:49 PM
And that function would be... what?

Performing police functions of all kinds, including the one you mentioned earlier. Police officers and private security officers each have powers the other doesn't, and having the two working together covers all the bases.


What's stopping you from terminating the employment of the officers you have who fail to comply with this policy?

First of all, terminating their employment isn't my prerogative but rather that of my higher-ups, who were the ones who hired them. Second, it's not clear at this point whether they've done anything for which they could be terminated. Let's say for example that it turns out that there's no state code prohibiting armed officers from entering a psychiatric hospital and nothing in their general orders prohibiting it, perhaps even a general order prohibiting their disarming at any time. These officers would have a reasonable expectation in their employment of not being requested to do something that would violate their own general orders.


Lets back up a bit... Are these officers employed individually, or is this a result of a contract with their agency?

They're employed individually.


I can't speak for other officers, but I would never voluntarily subordinate myself to, or take orders from, a private security supervisor. My legal and ethical responsibilities in many situations are much different than yours.

I supervise the security coverage of the hospital campus and make assignments to the inhouse officers and police officers to that effect. If I have to call in a police officer on a police matter, I don't "supervise" him in the performance of his police duties, as that is not my job.


I posted my experience to illustrate why having a representative (you) from a private company (and that's what a hospital is) attempting to exert control over a government official is a bad idea. You have company policy, which is meant to further corporate interests and limit liability. We have State law and department policy.

I find this somewhat contradictory. You earlier accused me of trying to "hammer" the officers with a state code. Well, if there is such a state code, shouldn't they be "hammered" with it? If there is a prohibition against entering a psychiatric hospital armed in their general orders, should't they be hammered with that, too? If there are such lawful prohibitions in state code and/or their general orders, shouldn't they comply?


One other thing you've failed to define is, what constitutes a "psychiatric hospital" for the purposes of the statute you seem to believe exists? Does your hospital meet that criteria? Is this a locked facility, in that, are patients allowed to refuse treatment, or are they allowed to sign themselves out? Would an outpatient treatment facility qualify? Are your patients of the type or category that would make disarming a police officer desirable or necessary?

Psychiatric hospital -

(A) An establishment licensed by the Texas Department of Health under Chapter
577 of the Texas Health and Safety Code offering inpatient services, including
treatment, facilities, and beds for use beyond 24 hours, for the primary purpose
of providing psychiatric assessment and diagnostic services and psychiatric
inpatient care and treatment for mental illness. Such services must be more
intensive than room, board, personal services, and general medical and nursing
care. Although substance abuse services may be offered, a majority of beds (51%)
must be dedicated to the treatment of mental illness in adults and/or children.
Services other than those of an inpatient nature are not licensed or regulated
by the department and are considered only to the extent that they affect the
stated resources for the inpatient components; or

Our facility meets all these criteria.

BP348
10-24-09, 11:46 AM
They're employed individually.

That makes it pretty easy. Make disarming prior to entering the Psychiatric area of the hospital a job requirement and company policy. This policy is fully explained prior to the officer being offered employment. You can even have the officer sign a form that clearly explains the disarming policy

He or she can then decide right then & there if they wish to work under those conditions.

You also put out a new policy to all existing employees.

It goes like this.

Memo;

To all Security Company X employees;

Effective immediately, all employees of Security Company X must disarm when entering the Psychiatric area of the hospital, NO exceptions. All employees who refuse to follow this policy will face discipline actions up to and including termination of employment.

This policy is justified because it can be explained as a security & safety issue to those that do work unarmed in that area.

Then you let the officer decided what he or she wants to do. If they refuse you create a paper trail and after 3 or 4 refusals to disarm you terminate their employment.

End of problem

You don’t need a state code to force the officers to disarm just make it a company policy.

I’m sure these officers have other off duty employment opportunities so if they don’t like the new company policy they’ll find another off duty job where they don’t have to deal with it.

Or how about just hiring people from HPD who already have the disarm policy.

And why would you have to strap a patient to a chair just so they can be interviewed? A pair of leg shackles so they couldn’t run away would do they same thing.

Piggy
10-24-09, 06:58 PM
It doesn't sound like the armed officers are the problem. It sounds like a management and supervisory problem.

Arrachion
10-24-09, 10:40 PM
Make disarming prior to entering the Psychiatric area of the hospital a job requirement and company policy.

I agree; we're dealing with the aftermath of higher-ups not having had the foresight to put such a policy in place.


And why would you have to strap a patient to a chair just so they can be interviewed? A pair of leg shackles so they couldn’t run away would do the same thing.

As I mentioned above, restraints have to be ordered by a doctor and used to control an out of control patient. A patient couldn't be shackled just to keep him from running away during an interview.

Piggy
10-27-09, 08:02 PM
I wonder if this has anything to do with why the Officers don't want to give up their guns:


Psych patient stabs doc, is shot dead


Boston (AP) -- Police say a man who stabbed a doctor while being treated at a psychiatric office at a Boston medical building and was fatally shot by an off-duty security guard has been identified.

Police have identified the suspect as 37-year-old Jay Carciero, of Reading.

The attack took place Tuesday afternoon on the fifth floor of 50 Staniford St., a high-rise affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.

The female doctor, whose name was not released, was in stable condition.

Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the security guard shot the suspect after the man refused to drop his knife.

The hospital's security director called the guard's actions "heroic."

Investigators did not release further details about the patient or doctor.

I'm pretty sure they don't let the patients carry knives around the hospital. My guess is someone got it in. Keep in mind, they can get any kind of weapon and/or drugs into just about any prison or jail in the United States with the exception of maybe Gitmo. I wouldn't want to give up my gun either. If you have a bunch of unarmed cops, what is your plan to respond to an incident like this?

retdetsgt
10-28-09, 10:46 PM
I
I'm pretty sure they don't let the patients carry knives around the hospital. My guess is someone got it in. Keep in mind, they can get any kind of weapon and/or drugs into just about any prison or jail in the United States with the exception of maybe Gitmo. I wouldn't want to give up my gun either. If you have a bunch of unarmed cops, what is your plan to respond to an incident like this?

From the article, it sounds like this was probably an out patient visiting a doctor's office in a hospital. That's indicated by the fact it was in her office in a "medical building" and the off duty deputy was armed. Most hospitals around here have medical offices within the hospital building that are not part of the hospital per se.

Safety Steve
10-28-09, 11:37 PM
Is there a law prohibiting a peace officer in uniform from entering any place while armed? Why would you want to disarm a peace officer with a law. That would prohibit a peace officer from ever helping with a riot. I understand doing it with policy, but law? Most laws in Texas are written based on what a reasonable prudent person would do. a reasonable prudent person would not disarm a peace officer with a law. Call me, "Spock" if you like, because that is illogical. But then again, I'm just logical. Be Safe.

Arrachion
10-29-09, 02:19 AM
If you have a bunch of unarmed cops, what is your plan to respond to an incident like this?

A situation such as a patient with a knife stabbing a doctor would be considered an "extreme circumstance" in which armed officers could enter the psychiatric hospital.

Curt581
10-29-09, 09:18 AM
A situation such as a patient with a knife stabbing a doctor would be considered an "extreme circumstance" in which armed officers could enter the psychiatric hospital.

Don't you mean "... an extreme circumstance in which an armed officer could seek permission to enter, then wait until a decision is made, then receive permission, then enter the psychiatric hospital"?

The doctor's body will be stiff and cold by that time.

Curt581
10-29-09, 09:21 AM
Is there a law prohibiting a peace officer in uniform from entering any place while armed?

Why yes, there is. No only jails and correctional facilities, but also Federal Courthouses.

At least, in my area.

retdetsgt
10-29-09, 11:20 AM
Is there a law prohibiting a peace officer in uniform from entering any place while armed?

There's no law like that in Oregon. We only have one state mental hospital now, the rest are private and they make their own policy. It's pretty rare when we are asked to go in one. The state has it's own security and I would suspect OSP would take any calls there. And I have no idea what their policy is.

For a while, one regular hospital decided that guns wouldn't be allowed in their ER. At the time, it was located outside the city limits and I assume the county honored that. I got a call to it one night to take a report of something that happened in the city and they told me I had to disarm. There is no way on God's green earth that I'm going to walk around a hospital ER in uniform with no gun. I'm not a fanatic about guns, but there's a limit to my good nature. I told the receptionist, the nurse and then the doc that I wasn't coming in and the patient could call the police when they were released.

I went on to tell them that if it were a suspect in their ER, there would take a lot of staff to stop me and as many officers as required. I don't know what happened after that, but after we annexed that area, they no longer had the policy.

I'm not really surprised the S.O. went along with it, at that time the sheriff was appointed by the board of commissioners and it was real touchy feely at the top.

BP348
10-29-09, 02:16 PM
Is there a law prohibiting a peace officer in uniform from entering any place while armed?

I don't know about a law but I can think of a few right off the top of my head. Prisons and Jails.

I would consider a psych hospital about the same as a jail, it's not like those people are free to leave whenever they like either.

When I was still with USAF I had to take a service member to a local psych hospital for an exam. I know I had to disarm before I could bring the guy into the psych area. That was in Florida and I was standing next to a tampa officer who had done the same so it wasn't just me.

retdetsgt
10-29-09, 04:07 PM
I don't know about a law but I can think of a few right off the top of my head. Prisons and Jails.



Just because there's a policy or procedure doesn't necessarily mean there's a law covering it.

Arrachion
10-30-09, 03:06 AM
Don't you mean "... an extreme circumstance in which an armed officer could seek permission to enter, then wait until a decision is made, then receive permission, then enter the psychiatric hospital"?

The doctor's body will be stiff and cold by that time.

The literal reading of the general order presents an even more sardonic situation than you envision in that only "the physician in charge of the unit" or in his absence "any physician on duty in the unit" could give the go-ahead for armed entry. Thus if the doctor being stabbed were the only one in the facility who could give the go-ahead, and he goes unconscious or dies before getting the go-ahead out of his mouth, well, then, it looks like we're screwed, no?

I brought up this little catch-22 (using a shooter instead of a stabber) to my superiors and to the HPD captain who works with us, and it turns out that HPD brass can specify that a general order be suspended in cases of extreme exigency. To close the loophole, though, the captain is looking into having the general order reworded. For now, though, we've got the assurance that armed response is appropriate in those instances where someone is actually under attack by someone with a weapon. Thus a doctor being stabbed would rate an armed response.

Piggy
10-30-09, 09:32 AM
For now, though, we've got the assurance that armed response is appropriate in those instances where someone is actually under attack by someone with a weapon. Thus a doctor being stabbed would rate an armed response.

I guess if you're the victim, and the Police Officer is running the other way to go get a gun, the policy would kind of suck.

DeltaV
11-03-09, 03:15 AM
Sounds like a stupid general order to me. What training and experience does a physician have in the laws surrounding use of force to determine whether or not a trained police officer can enter the facility armed? The physician is going to be more concerned with the hospital's (and his own) liability than allowing the officer proper means of defending themselves and other.

The officer (or a department supervisor) should be the one to make that decision. No non-LE person should ever determine whether or not an on-duty LEO carries a weapon somewhere. Our chief judge toyed with the idea of prohibiting firearms in the courthouse years back, but when our union president told him that we would either ignore the policy or stop showing up for court, he decided to drop that idea.

retdetsgt
11-03-09, 11:34 AM
Our chief judge toyed with the idea of prohibiting firearms in the courthouse years back, but when our union president told him that we would either ignore the policy or stop showing up for court, he decided to drop that idea.

I suspect that in a face off between the judge and your union president, your union president would lose. The pres. can't protect officers from contempt of court.

That being said, in the late 70's, the judges here made that decision. I quit going to court in uniform. If I'm going to walk around without a gun, it's certainly not going to be where I would be that recognizable as a cop.

After about 6 months of this, I was sitting in the back of the court room, next to the door when I saw this guy walk in. I noticed the butt of a revolver under his coat. He was kind of a long hair and I wasn't sure if he was a U/C from another agency so I just watched him.

This was a "cattle court" where misdemeanors were being tried one after the other. A name was called for CCW and this guy stood up as the defendant. I crept up behind him, put my arm around his neck, pulled him backwards and pulled the gun out of his belt. The judge and the DA turned white. An off duty deputy took him to jail and the judge called me back to his chambers.

He went through the usual BS thanking me and I responded that I was glad I was sitting at the back near the door. He asked if that was so I was able to see the gun and I responded, "No, since I wasn't allowed to be armed, it was so I could get out of the room safely if the guy shot you." Two days later, the order was rescinded. It probably took that long for this judge to get to the chief judge with the story. What I didn't tell him was that I did it because there were a number of other cops in there and I was concerned about them, not anybody with a law degree.

The gun wasn't loaded. Apparently he was going to pull it out and make some sort of statement on the 2nd amendment......:crazy:

txinvestigator1
11-04-09, 10:26 AM
Why yes, there is. No only jails and correctional facilities, but also Federal Courthouses.

At least, in my area.


Are you in Texas? Cause I am not aware of ANY state law here that keeps you from being armed in Jails and Correctional Facilities.

retdetsgt
11-04-09, 10:43 AM
Are you in Texas? Cause I am not aware of ANY state law here that keeps you from being armed in Jails and Correctional Facilities.

There's not one in Oregon either. It's simply policy.

There are federal laws governing their facilities. I never really understood the one regarding post offices. I was told once by some fed that the law regarding locals varied depending on whether or not the post office property was leased or owned by the federal government....:confused5: I never had a situation come up so I never learned any more about it.

BP348
11-05-09, 11:37 AM
I suspect that in a face off between the judge and your union president, your union president would lose. The pres. can't protect officers from contempt of court.

+1

All the federal courts mandate that you disarm upon entering.

I know it depends on which judge has your case as far as the stae & local court goes. But even then 85%+ don't allow any firearms in their court.

What are you going to say? no? yea right

CityOfChicago
11-05-09, 11:44 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if we start going around securing weapons in mental hospitals, how are the psychopaths supposed to escape and go on murderous killing sprees with fire axes? :nono:

BJJVad
11-05-09, 12:05 PM
Is this thread still going? :crying:

Curt581
11-05-09, 01:06 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if we start going around securing weapons in mental hospitals, how are the psychopaths supposed to escape and go on murderous killing sprees with fire axes? :nono:

How good would "The Shining" have been without "Heeerre's Johnny!"?

retdetsgt
11-05-09, 01:12 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if we start going around securing weapons in mental hospitals, how are the psychopaths supposed to escape and go on murderous killing sprees with fire axes? :nono:

Not to mention some of us actually having access to the Internet.:willy_nilly:

Arrachion
11-11-09, 03:29 AM
Fourteen.

Arrachion
11-11-09, 03:30 AM
Fifteen.

Arrachion
11-11-09, 03:33 AM
http://www.gianky.com/blog/imgstore/2005/shining2.jpg

Arrachion
11-13-09, 03:16 AM
Fifteen

Arrachion
11-13-09, 03:32 AM
Maybe this is why they want them to lock their guns up:

Psych hospital cited after officer's gun went off | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/local/66956482.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiacyKUUr )

Psych hospital cited after officer's gun went off

A policeman wasn't asked to remove his handgun before getting into a tussle with a suicidal patient who got control of the weapon last April. State officials say the Annandale facility is now in compliance.

By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

A state-operated psychiatric hospital in Wright County has been cited for a safety lapse after a suicidal patient went on a rampage last April, grabbed the gun of a police officer and had it discharge during a tussle with the officer and staff members.

State investigators found that staff members at Community Behavioral Health Hospital in Annandale "did not assure a safe environment as [the] officer entered the patient care area with his gun," according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

No one was hurt and the patient was subdued.

According to the Health Department report:

The patient was admitted to the hospital on April 10 and "represented himself as worthless and stated that his life plan was to commit suicide."

Four days later, while outside for group activities, he tried to flee over the facility's 12-foot-high fence and kicked at a gate. When he returned inside, he hit a window with a chair and a coffee table, then kicked at an exit door.

A police officer responding to a 911 call aimed his Taser at the man, who put up a blanket as defense and charged at the officer.

The officer fired his Taser, and the patient pushed the officer against a door.

The officer fell to the floor with the patient and was joined by three hospital staff members who tried to subdue the man.

Moments later, the patient gained control of the officer's handgun and the weapon discharged.

The officer regained possession of the gun, other officers arrived, and the patient was handcuffed and taken to jail.

Hospital policy in force at the time said that police "will be asked to leave weapons ... outside of the patient care area." No staff members interviewed by state health investigators recalled making such a request of the officer.

The report says the hospital has made changes since the incident, including adding new external signs notifying officers about the gun policy and improving access for officers to a gun lock box outside the patient area.

The hospital's parent agency, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, said Wednesday that it "concurs with the findings of the Department of Health, deeply regrets the incident and has taken all necessary corrective action.'' The agency said it is improving staff training and working with local law enforcement agencies, and that the Annandale facility is now in compliance with state standards.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

Arrachion
11-28-09, 09:08 PM
A couple of years ago, a mental patient in a private facility got hold of some sort of metal rod from a door and attacked a staff member, causing some serious injuries. They called the police, but when the police got there, the staff said they couldn't enter armed. The police told them they would either enter armed or leave. They were allowed entry and ended up killing the patient who had gone completely berserk. Had they not been armed, who knows what would have happened?

Is this the incident?


Hospital security may be inadequate
Sources say the facility where Mejia died had no dedicated security staff
By Jennifer Anderson

The Portland Tribune, Apr 13, 2001, Updated Oct 30, 2009

The April 1 police shooting of Jose Santos Victor Mejia Poot at BHC-Pacific Gateway Hospital has raised dozens of questions about the quality of security at the hospital, which is considered a backup provider for Multnomah County.

Former workers at the Sellwood psychiatric facility, county mental health workers and residents have expressed concerns including: the point at which the hospital calls police to assist with patients, whether staff allows police to bring weapons onto psychiatric wards, the types of security staff available in an emergency and what kinds of actions are taken to calm and control patients.

“Questions abound here,” said Bob Joondeph, director of the Oregon Advocacy Center, a nonprofit legal service for the mentally ill. “You can correct problems if your patient is alive.”

Mejia had been brought to the Sellwood psychiatric hospital March 30, about 15 hours after being arrested on a Tri-Met bus in Northeast Portland for harassment and resisting arrest.

Sunday evening, April 1, Pacific Gateway staff called officers for assistance, saying he was threatening hospital personnel with pencils. Officers helped place Mejia in a seclusion room and left. Half an hour later, the hospital called police again.

Police said Mejia was out of the seclusion room and wielding a metal bar apparently ripped from a door. Officers used pepper spray and beanbag rounds before one of the officers fired two bullets. Mejia died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. The three officers at the scene have been placed on leave.

Karl Brady, chief executive officer of Pacific Gateway, did not immediately respond to a certified letter sent by the Portland Tribune, which asked several questions about the hospital’s security.

Strict procedures, including the use of restraints and medication at all of the hospitals contracted by Multmomah County are dictated by the Oregon Administrative Rules, the Joint Commision on Accreditation of Hospitals and the Health Care Financing Administration, Joondeph said.

Standardized policies

Besides Pacific Gateway, Oregon Health Sciences University, Providence Health Systems, Legacy Health Systems and Woodlawn Park Hospital also are contracted by Multnomah County as adult (nonadolescent, nongeriatric) providers. Their psychiatric units’ security policies are similar.

All have trained security staffs that do not carry guns and are able to respond to emergency situations around the clock. Sometimes other personnel on staff also respond to the crisis. “We page them and they come,” said Robin Blair-Henderson, director of behavior and health services at Woodland Park, a 15-bed facility on Northeast Hancock Street.

All say police are rarely called to assist in controlling patients. At OHSU, it’s happened only twice in 15 years, said Jim Newman, a hospital spokesman.

“First, staff in the ward tries to control the situation. If they feel it’s past their ability, they call OHSU’s public safety force,” he said.

And all have policies that ask police to check their weapons at the door for routine visits, such as patient drop-offs.

However, in a crisis situation, they say police are allowed to bring weapons in. “We have no control over whether guns are brought onto the unit,” said Tracy Barnett, spokeswoman for Legacy Hospital, which has three facilities with beds reserved for psychiatric patients: Legacy Adventist, Legacy Emanual and Legacy Good Samaritan. “Once they get here, they are to respond as they do to any of their calls.”

All of these hospitals have strict policies for controlling patients’ behavior, including techniques such as one-on-one therapy, timeouts in an unlocked room, seclusion in a locked room while a patient is monitored, and the use of medication if it will lower a patient’s anxiety.

Blair-Henderson said that seclusion and restraints are used from three to four times a month at Woodland Park, “which is relatively low,” she said. The staff also takes pride in the fact that it rarely uses sedating medication, she said: “You can’t just give someone medication to rest them, just to knock them out. The medication has to have a purpose. If you don’t need it, you can’t give it.”

At Pacific Gateway, however, several mental health workers familiar with the hospital say there is no dedicated security staff.

County investigation

Joondeph, among others, wonders about the county’s ability to review conduct at Pacific Gateway when the county could risk losing access to 66 adult beds for psychiatric patients if it decided to end its contract with the hospital.

Janice Gratton, senior manager of Multnomah County’s Department of Family Services’ Behavioral Health Division, points out that only three to four beds at any given time are being contracted by the county. The rest of the patients are being paid for by other providers. “It’s not really only our business they’re depending on,” she said.

“Ultimately our responsibility is to have safe places for people,” she said. “If that hospital isn’t a safe place, we’re compelled to look for other places. It’s not easy, but it’s part of our responsibility.”

The county is conducting two investigations, which it launched after the shooting incident, into the hospital. One looks into whether abuse or neglect occured and must be completed in 45 days, she said. Gratton said she hopes it will be completed before that.

Gratton hopes a separate investigation into the pattern of care at the hospital will be complete in two weeks. Investigators have begun interviewing staff members at the hospital and will look at medical records in coming days.

Contact Jennifer Anderson at janderson@portlandtribune.com.

Copyright 2009 Pamplin Media Group, 6605 S.E. Lake Road, Portland, OR 97222 • 503-226-6397

Arrachion
11-29-09, 02:25 AM
Well, I've finally received some feedback from one organization that I queried, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin. The lady who fielded my email contacted the assistant director of state mental hospitals and forwarded his reply, which was that there is no state code prohibiting armed entry.

Arrachion
11-29-09, 02:27 AM
There is not.

You win the kewpie doll.