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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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.

    Too often, people get so caught up in rules that they don't see simple solutions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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"?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by retdetsgt View Post
    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?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt581 View Post
    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.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grampa Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  5. #20
    Arrachion is offline Junior Member Arrachion is on a distinguished road
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    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.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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.
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  7. #22
    Arrachion is offline Junior Member Arrachion is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by retdetsgt View Post
    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.

    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.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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?
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grampa Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by retdetsgt View Post
    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.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post

    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.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grampa Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  11. #26
    Arrachion is offline Junior Member Arrachion is on a distinguished road
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt581 View Post
    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.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrachion View Post
    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 donít need a state code to force the officers to disarm just make it a company policy.

    Iím sure these officers have other off duty employment opportunities so if they donít like the new company policy theyíll find another off duty job where they donít 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 couldnít run away would do they same thing.
    Wrong door, buddy

  13. #28
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    It doesn't sound like the armed officers are the problem. It sounds like a management and supervisory problem.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BP348 View Post
    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 couldnít 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.

  15. #30
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    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?
    Last edited by Piggy; 10-27-09 at 07:04 PM.
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