SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Sacramento police and dispatchers used their revamped approach to situations involving a mental health crisis earlier this month when a man threatened to harm himself.
Police responded to the area of Tribute Road and Highway 160 on March 4 around 10:30 a.m. regarding a man threatening to jump off a highway overpass. Dispatch personnel immediately initiated efforts to de-escalate the situation, including techniques over the phone until officers arrived.
After arriving on scene, body cam footage shows the officers walking towards the man while they ask if he feels up to talking with them. The man, who later in the video tells officers he is 18 years old, attempted to jump off the overpass but an officer was able to wrap his arms around him.
Video shows the officers prying the man off the railing before trying to calm him down. They continue letting the man know he’s not in trouble and they want to help. “We’re here for you, bud. We’re here for you,” an officer said.
The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. His face, along with the officers, was blurred in the video and no one involved is being identified.
Police said the body cam footage was released Thursday to “inform our community on the complex, difficult and dangerous job of our police officers and dispatchers." They added that the video demonstrates difficulty associated with responding to people in crisis.
Last year, Sacramento police officers responded to 10,999 calls for service that were mental health related and so far they’re at 2,951 for 2019, according to the department.
In repsonse, they created a Mental Health Unit last year to ensure the department “has a comprehensive approach to mental illness” within the Sacramento community. Additionally, all academy graduates complete a 40-hour course on crisis intervention training before they report for duty.
If you need help or know of someone in need, the National Suicide Hotline is there for you: 800-273-8255 or suicide and crisis hotline (855) 278-4204.
KTVU reported this story from Oakland.