By Michael G. Stogner
The reason I suggest this is Chinedu V. Okobi Homicide there was NO 911 call. The Sandra L. Harmon Homicide there was a 911 call by a non relative and she wasn’t even sure she should have called 911. Also there was plenty of time to bring the PERT TEAM into the Harmon call, 23 minutes before she was contacted and killed.
I observed the NAMI meeting this week and heard a pretty profound statement about what people who are calling 911 should state to the Dispatcher. If you call 911 for a mental health issue You are supposed to know somehow to state You would like a CIT Trained Officer to respond. Nobody knows that in the first place and in the second place the Dispatchers are the front line and They should know how to determine if that is necessary.
This should have been the policy since Yanira Serrano Garcia Homicide when her brother called 911 to simply request an ambulance to the family’s home to assist his sister take her new medication. He told the dispatcher this is a Non Emergency, She was killed by a San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy within 20 seconds of existing his patrol car.
Another element that should be audited is the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, Current example is the City of Half Moon Bay on September 15, 2020 voted unanimously to ask the Attorney General for an Independent Criminal Investigation of the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Investigation of the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide.
If the PERT program is valuable have it be County Wide include all Police Departments.
Dispatchers should make the call on PERT TEAM being notified.
San Mateo County needs to review and possibly change the agreement between law enforcement and first responders, Currently Law Enforcement has to secure the scene before AMR can arrive. They are stuck just down the street at a staging area waiting for the Scene Secured.
I would also suggest the Errol Chang Homicide in Pacifica as a case to be audited 911 call definitely a mental health call, home surrounded by Swat TEAM. Looks like impatience of commander who ordered his men to enter the home. Total time on scene a few hours, Compare that to Redwood City Police 17.5 hour standoff with a Domestic Violence man. He refused to follow/comply with legal orders, Result nobody killed or hurt. The difference the man was a retired Redwood City Police Officer.