During my 22-year law enforcement career, I became involved in countless situations in which I personally dealt with people in mental health crisis. My first incident involved a Hispanic male armed with a pistol. I learned a significant amount from that single incident: so much, in fact, that I made the decision to join the Houston Police Department's Hostage Negotiation Team. The techniques I have learned over the years can be applicable to almost anyone, at any time, in just about any situation. In the following paragraphs, I will recount a few incidents in which I was involved and discuss the techniques used to end each the situation safely. Understand that this is not a specific "how-to guide" that may be applied to every situation. Instead, the use of these techniques will simply allow a person that becomes aware of a certain situation - to be able to attempt to stabilize the incident prior to first responders' arrival.
An officer detains an active parolee gang member for questioning, and during the detention, the suspect suddenly runs. The officer chases the suspect for two blocks, observes the suspect to be grabbing into his shorts pocket.
San Francisco Police officers respond to a call of an agitated mentally disturbed and disabled man in a wheelchair wielding a knife and vandalizing parked cars on a downtown city street. A group of at least six uniformed and plain clothes officers locate and surround the man who remains seated in his wheelchair. The officers' initial attempts to communicate with the angry, apparently delusional and armed man prove ineffective.
In this article, concerns are presented from the perspective of a former Drug Enforcement Administration chemist and a practicing forensic chemist consultant about the shortcomings that law enforcement and society now face with the lack of transparency in the government analyses of controlled drugs