Police Response to Suicide Call


November 13, 2003, 07:09 PM
Our local Anchorage PD recently gave me a fairly interesting morning. Last week I was staying at my home away from home--the scenic Spenard Motel. I heard a bunch of noise in the AM and stuck my head outside the door. What do I see but about FIFTY cops--about half the damn department, surrounding the building, all with long guns out and ready! Once I discovered it wasn't about that overdue traffic fine, I went ahead with my regular business.

I later discovered that all the whooplaa was apparently about an idiot next door who called 911 and threatened to kill himself and any officer who responded to the call! Now that got me thinking. What is it that compels the police to respond to such a call? Nobody was with him, and he could have killed himself without posing much of a threat to anyone, assuming he's using a good SP round and ol' cosmo won't have an fmj bullet flying through the wall at him.

They talked him down apparently and all ended well. But why respond? It's an obvious invitation to suicide by cop, and by escalating the situation it seems to me they put everyone in the complex at risk. Dozens of shotguns fired from fifty yards are going to spray roundball all over the damn place.

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November 13, 2003, 07:11 PM
dude, there has GOT to be a better place for you to stay than at the spenard motel!!!!

November 13, 2003, 07:14 PM
It's so cheap, though! And the seedy rooms go with my pearl-stocked Colt. One cannot stay at the Hilton with a pearl handled revolver. They have rules and whatnot.

November 13, 2003, 07:29 PM
Get yourself a cheap typewriter and begin the great American novel.

"It was a dark and stormy night outside my room in the fleabag hotel I temporarily called home. I was distracted from the long legged blond by red flashing lights dancing outside my window. The cracks in the glass made the lights dance like a manic John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

Before I could pick up Melvin, my pearl handled Colt .45, there came a loud banging on the door of the room to the right of mine. I peered out through the blinds and saw 50 coppers with their gats out, the garish lights sparkling off the gun barrels in a crazy kaleidoscope of color. The donut shops were mine for the picking! All of a sudden a scream split the wet night air as.......":D

Might as well make a buck. :evil:

November 13, 2003, 07:36 PM
Odd that you mention Melvin. The fellow who delivers Indian food to me bears an uncanny resemblance to the character Melvin Frohike from the X-Files. There's a novel out there somewhere.


November 13, 2003, 07:46 PM
Just once I want the cops to do this:

Suicidal guy: calls cops..."I am going to kill myself! And anyone who trys to stop me!"

Cop = "Ok, have a good time. Try to keep it off the walls and carpet. We recommend the bath tub."

Then they send an undercover cop outside his residence to make sure he doesnt hurt anyone else. Quite simple.

November 13, 2003, 07:50 PM
Do you write the Guy Noir scripts for the Garrison Keiller show?:D

November 13, 2003, 07:55 PM
cosmo, bring me a pizza and you can crash on my couch.....hellalot safer than spenard motel...one notable difference is i dont have whores hanging around my porch.

November 13, 2003, 07:59 PM
No but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.:D

November 13, 2003, 09:10 PM
one notable difference is i dont have whores hanging around my porch.
Maybe if you petitioned the planning commission to have the zoning laws changed? :D


November 14, 2003, 03:04 PM
You make it sound as though having whores on your porch is a BAD thing!

Edit--OK, the one who also bore a strong resemblance to Melvin Frohike I saw last night was somewhat disturbing.

November 14, 2003, 04:17 PM
I second Moparmike's motion. :)

November 16, 2003, 01:38 AM
What ever happened to the days where cries for help where perceived as just that?

And if they aren't, cries for help that is, then it's good to have the fire power scale tipped far to your side.

Though more than a dozen seems a bit much, depending on crowd control concerns.

November 16, 2003, 01:43 AM
Its not exactly unheard of for suicidal people to take others with them. Imagine the rant we would be having if the cops didnt respond and this dude decided he wanted some company in hell.

November 16, 2003, 07:11 PM

November 16, 2003, 07:43 PM
When a guy calls 911 and tells them that he's going to kill himself, you can pretty much guarantee that what he wants is attention.

Think about it: if he didn't want the attention, he'd have quietly (or not) done The Deed on himself before anyone would have had a clue that things were a little squirrely, not practically hand-deliver his address to the authorities and wait for them to show up.

No. If he were serious, the motel residents would have been startled by a sudden muffled *bang*, and everything that followed would have been a formality.

So, given that what this guy really wants is someone to pay attention to him, if the local knuckle-dragging branch of Da Gummint had answered the phone, then proceeded to ignore him, he's going to do what it takes to get the Authorities to notice him.

If you have a gun, and you really want the cops to pay attention to you, but threatening to kill yourself doesn't work, what do you do next to get their attention?

You take hostages, of course.

Far better to get this critter the attention he wants (and needs) while he's only offering a direct threat against himself and the cops, than to try to deal with him when he's offering a direct threat against himself, the cops, and innocent third parties.


November 16, 2003, 08:59 PM
When I go on these calls (at least a couple a week for the last 20 years) I basically tell them that they are free to do anything they want, BUT, they called me and now I have to take them to the hospital. No, they don't have any choice, yes I know it isn't going to stop them from killing themselves but these are the rules and I have to follow them. I realize it is a farce, but that is what we are going to do. Get on the gurney.

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