What’s the Mission? Responding to Suicidal Subjects

On-Demand Webinar

Presented by Mike Ranalli, Laura Scarry and Ken Wallentine

Mental health resources in the U.S. are woefully inadequate, and police officers continue to be called to scenes where subjects are in crisis. Despite best intentions, officer intervention at such incidents can backfire, resulting in harm to the subject or officers.

What is an officer’s legal duty to intervene in such cases? How can the agency and the officer minimize liability and safety risks? In this presentation, three law enforcement and legal professionals will discuss the risks involved in non-criminal mental health incidents and officers’ obligation under the law.

You’ll learn:

  • Recent federal cases that shed light on the duty and authority imposed on officers intervening with suicidal subjects 
  • How the “state-created danger” theory applies to calls involving suicidal subjects
  • Three critical elements of tactical withdrawal and effective risk mitigation when faced with a person in crisis who is not an active threat



Use of Force/Liability/Litigation: Breaching the Minefield

16 Hours, POST Certified

What you will learn:
Don’t play the probability game – a high-profile use of force incident could happen to your agency. Be prepared.

The Legal Implications of Use of Force reviews recent court cases covering use of force, utilizes video to fully understand use of force situations and walks you through a use of force incident from field training to the court room.

– The necessity of contact drills both in the street and in the courtroom.
– How to navigate the civil and criminal trail process.
– The process of a use of force investigation in a custody setting.
– Proper responses for both management and officers after a major incident.
– How to testify about a use of force encounter.
– How to write about a use of force encounter.
– How to analyze your defensive tactics for effectiveness.
– and much more…Who Should Attend:
Anyone who is a sworn member of law enforcement – from supervisor to patrol.


Response to the Non-Criminal Barricade Disengagement & Special Relationships

If you are like a lot of law enforcement professionals you’ve considered these questions:

  1. What should officers do with a suicidal person alone in their own home who refuses to exit?
  2. Do officers have a legal duty to take action to try to save the subject from harming themselves?
  3. When is it appropriate to disengage from a non-criminal barricaded suspect and will officers be found liable if the subject harms a third party?

The way law enforcement officers respond to a mentally ill person in crisis is a topic of intense debate. In this course, we’ll first answer each of those questions and discuss the relevant laws about liability and the “special relationship” doctrine. We’ll examine several case studies, some which resulted in the agency being found liable and some where the agency was not. You will hear the actual incident audio from a dramatic California incident in which the police disengaged. You’ll learn the modern tactics your agency can use to both limit liability and prevent a violent confrontation.

Each student will receive:

  1. A simple one-page decision making cheat sheet to help guide your decision making regarding when to engage, disengage and re-engage.
  2. A collection of policies and best practices from various agencies. You are going to walk away with the “industry standard” information.


How to avoid legal missteps on suicidal-subject calls

Why Police Officers Can’t De-Escalate Anyone

When should law enforcement leave from an armed suicidal barricade?

Vol. 28 No. 20 – Law Enforcement Officers May Be Liable Based On Tactics Preceding the Use of Deadly Force

Calif. PDs fear ‘suicide by cop’ cases. So they’ve stopped responding to some calls

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