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Lynnwood Police Officers Defuse Two Persons’ in Crisis Within Two Days


Lynnwood Police Officers Defuse Two Persons’ in Crisis Within Two Days

LYNNWOOD, WA (September 15, 2017) -The Lynnwood Police Department continues to emphasize de-escalation training and tactics, which came into play during two recent incidents.

On Wednesday September 13, just after noon, Lynnwood officers responded to a call of a person in crisis at a local hotel. The caller reported that a known person in a hotel room was threatening self-injury with a gun. Lynnwood Officers arrived and establish a cordon around the hotel room. Officers were able to talk to the 50’s year old man, who was in crisis, and were able to talk him out of the room where he was taken into protective custody. He admitted wanting to harm himself, and stated that he had a gun but had thrown it away at some point before police arrived. The man was taken to a local hospital for help. Officers were unable to locate any firearms. No one was injured during this incident.

On Thursday September 12, at about 3:45 pm, Lynnwood Officers responded to a report that a juvenile male in the busy roadway of the 20500 blk of 44th Ave W was trying to reach into occupied vehicles and yelling at the vehicle’s occupants that he wanted them to fight him. The first officer to arrive located the juvenile and when contacted, the young man pulled a knife out of his pocket and put it to his own neck. Additional officers arrived and the young man sat on the sidewalk yelling at officers to shoot him. Multiple Officers responded and were able to shutdown traffic while other officers attempted to negotiate with the youth.

While a Lynnwood sergeant, who is also a crisis trained negotiator, talked with the young man other officers moved into position in the event an opportunity arose where they could restrain him without undue risk to either the subject or themselves. As the officer talked to the young man, he closed the knife blade and a small team of officers reacted immediately by quickly moving in and pinning him to the ground with shields while another officer was able to grab the closed knife. The juvenile had minor self-inflicted injuries that had occurred as officers negotiated with him. The young man was transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Washington State requires that all Police Officers attend an 8-hour Crisis Intervention Techniques course, however nearly all Lynnwood officers have received 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Techniques training. Additionally, the Lynnwood Police department has officers who are Crisis Intervention trainers. These techniques are woven through other training efforts Lynnwood Officers receive such as force simulation encounters. In both of these recent cases, Officers were able to use their de-escalation training to help defuse the situation, and they also had less lethal force options prepared, in the event they were needed.

In crisis incidents, like the two above, officer actions are highly predicated on the actions of the person in crisis. Fortunately, in both of these incidents the person in crisis was able to be contained with minimal force as the subjects stopped posing an immediate threat to officers or others which allowed the officers to slow the incident down and put their training, tactics and experience into use. In both cases the persons in crisis were safely transferred to mental health services.

Deputy Chief Jim Nelson
LPD Media

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