Friday, April 28, 2006

A cop speaks: "I know if he gets that gun, I'm dead."

Sometimes, no amount of police training can change the course of a terrible event that happens in a split second.

It is last summer. Mike is stopped at 9th and Market. He looks up and sees a naked man outside his patrol car. The next thing Mike knows, the guy has his hands on Mike's gun and is pulling it from its holster.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh, s---!' " Mike recalled the other day. "I know if he gets that gun, I'm dead."

Mike survived. The naked man did not.
Police officers like Mike who end up confronting someone in a psychotic state face terrible decisions. These situations are dangerous for all involved.

Training for officers is vital. But so is making certain that people with mental illnesses get help before they end up naked and grabbing an officer’s weapon.