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Excerpt: The NYPD Patrol Guide

From the New York Police Department Patrol Guide, 2004 Edition:

PG 216-05
Mentally Ill or Emotionally Disturbed Persons

Purpose:
To safeguard a mentally ill or emotionally disturbed person who does not voluntarily seek medical assistance.

Scope:
The primary duty of all members of the service is to preserve human life. The safety of ALL persons involved is paramount in cases involving emotionally disturbed persons. If such person is dangerous to himself or others, necessary force may be used to prevent serious physical injury or death. Physical force will be used ONLY to the extent necessary to restrain the subject until delivered to a hospital or detention facility. Deadly physical force will be used ONLY as a last resort to protect the life of the uniformed member of the service assigned or any other person present. If the emotionally disturbed person is armed or violent, no attempt will be made to take the EDP into custody without the specific direction of a supervisor unless there is an immediate threat of physical harm to the EDP or others are present. If an EDP is not immediately dangerous, the person should be contained until assistance arrives. If the EDP is unarmed, not violent and willing to leave voluntarily, uniformed member of the service may take such person into custody. When there is time to negotiate, all the time necessary to ensure the safety of all individuals will be used.

Definitions:
EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED PERSON (EDP) — appears to be mentally ill or temporarily deranged and is conducting himself in a manner which a police officer reasonably believes is likely to result in serious injury to himself or others.

ZONE OF SAFETY — The distance to be maintained between the EDP and the responding member(s) of the service. This distance should be greater than the effective range of the weapon (other than a firearm), and it may vary with each situation (e.g., type of weapon possessed, condition of EDP, surrounding area, etc.). A minimum distance of twenty (20) feet is recommended. An attempt will be made to maintain the "zone of safety" if the EDP does not remain stationary.

Procedure:
When a uniformed member of the service reasonably believes that a person who is apparently mentally ill or emotionally disturbed, must be taken into protective custody because the person is conducting himself in a manner likely to result in a serious injury to himself or others:

[For Uniformed Members of the Service]

(1) Upon arrival at scene, assess situation as to threat of immediate serious physical injury to EDP, other persons present or members of the service. Take cover, utilize protective shield if available and request additional personnel, if necessary.
(a) If emotionally disturbed person's actions constitute immediate threat of serious physical injury or death to himself or others:
— Take reasonable measures to terminate or prevent such behavior. Deadly physical force will be used only as a last resort to protect the life of persons or officers present.

Note: Damaging of property would not necessarily constitute an immediate threat of serious physical injury or death.

(b) If EDP is unarmed, not violent and is willing to leave voluntarily:
— EDP may be taken into custody without the specific direction of a supervisor.

(c) In all other cases, if EDP's actions do not constitute an immediate threat of serious physical injury or death to himself or others:
— Attempt to isolate and contain the EDP while maintaining a zone of safety until arrival of patrol supervisor and Emergency Service Unit personnel.
Do not attempt to take EDP into custody without the specific direction of a supervisor.

(2) Request ambulance, if one has not already been dispatched.
(a) Ascertain if patrol supervisor is responding, and if not; request response.

Note: Communications Section will automatically direct the patrol supervisor and Emergency Service Unit to respond to scene in such cases. Patrol supervisors' vehicles are equipped with non-lethal devices to assist in the containment and control of EDPs, and will be used at the supervisor's discretion, if necessary.

[For Patrol Supervisors]

(3) Establish police lines.

(4) Take EDP into custody if EDP is unarmed, not violent and willing to leave voluntarily.

(5) Verify that the Emergency Service Unit is responding, if required.
(a) Cancel response of Emergency Service Unit if services not required.

(6) Direct uniformed members of the service to take EDP into custody if unarmed, not violent, and willing to leave voluntarily.

(7) Establish firearms control.
(a) Direct members concerned not to use their firearms or use any other deadly physical force unless their lives or the life of another is in imminent danger.

(8) Deploy protective devices (shields, etc.).

(9) Comply with provisions of PG 212-38, "Hostage/Barricaded Person(s)," where appropriate.

(10) Establish police lines if not already done.

(11) Request response of hostage negotiation team and coordinator through Communications Section.

(12) Notify desk officer that hostage negotiation team and coordinator have been notified and request response of precinct commander/duty captain...





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