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LTC Stephen F.
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That is sad news that Kyle Cardenas was tased, pepper-sprayed, and beat by police after his family called the VA crisis hotline crisis line SFC (Join to see) especially after his family specifically asked the VA to leave the [police out of it.
To be honest I would fault the VA crisis hotline personnel. Once they alerted the police the police did what they are trained to do.
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SFC Contract Administrator
SFC (Join to see)
5 y
LTC Stephen F. just when you think you heard it all, this case is sad and takes the cake.
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SGT Michael Thorin
SGT Michael Thorin
5 y
Sir, I agree that the police being involved may have seemed like the wrong thing to do, but I would like present something that may help you understand the reason the police were involved.

Anytime there is a possible psych patient, police are dispatched regardless for 2 reasons.

1. For the safety of the family. If there is a crisis bad enough for the family to call the crisis line, then there is always reason to believe that the individual could be a threat to himself or others, even to the point of a homicide or a suicide.

2. For the safety of a crisis response team. Regardless of what is requested in regards to police involvement, they will be dispatched. One reason is because a Veterans Crisis Team may take hours to get there, because they are called in. They have no weapons to defend themselves, so police involvement is a must.

Dispatch of law enforcement is strictly policy that was developed for the safety of all involved.

If I had to guess, the reason the VA is not being sued is because it is an industry wide standard.

How the officers acted and responded I will not place judgment on, but I will say that as a firefighter/ paramedic, that in my 19 years of service I had never been involved with a psych patient that I could not either reason with or control. This is not true of every situation or for person, but in my interaction, I found ways to meet a common ground.

I think that may a distinctive difference; police are trained to seize control, and that control can be obtained by physical means. Fire and EMS have no offensive weapons, so we had to make negotiations work.

As far as the police officers go, they will be pressed, and hopefully they will start training officers in dealing with vets with PTSD.
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SFC Tom Jones
SFC Tom Jones
>1 y
See in some ways I agree with you but speaking from experience cause I have had family call the crisis line and you are correct the police will be called every time. I understand that no one knows if the vet is willing to use weapons, or try and fight them, but in saying this I will give you something to think about, I was in a public place when the police found me, they pulled thier weapons, and 3 of them jump on me forced my right arm even after I told them not to force it back cause of an old injury well to make a long story short. A police woman came over and took over and told the sheriffs officer to back off, see told me to calm down and asked me what was going on? I told her about the pain so she put an extra cuff on which loosen them up, then she ask me why I had called the line when I explain what was going on she escorted me the hospital, then she called my wife and she help me, found out she was a medic in the Army, she understood. So last thing is this, officers need some training on how to handle veterans like myself, cause when I am pressed and I see weapons I get very mean, veterans with PTSD have a very short fuzz and most of the time it tells us that they are the enemy and than our training takes over and the battle begins.
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PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
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Well if his PTSD wasn't bad enough before, it is worse now!
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1SG James Lampe
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Perhaps a good start would be firing the Chief of Police. Then, prosecute the cops. Hopefully that would get the attention of Police and Sheriffs across the nation that training is nessesary regarding how to properly respond to Veterans in crisis.
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SSgt Thomas (Toby) Weir
SSgt Thomas (Toby) Weir
2 y
I am not a fan of the police because of hearing shift like this!
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SSgt Thomas (Toby) Weir
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