I am looking for information related to allowing police onto the psych unit with their weapons. What are you all doing? Also if there is any relavent research out there. Thanks for helping as we explore this.
What an interesting question, diawc! And, what a good response from elkpark. Weapons on a Psych Unit. Potentially hazardous situation.
You know, it makes me think. I want to give you a response before I discuss this topic with any of my colleagues, so my answer is fresh and off the top of my head.
Back in the '80's, I worked on an unlocked Psych Unit. (I wonder if unlocked Psych Units still exist?) The County Police would transport the unmanageable patients to the State Mental Hospital. I remember the County Police wearing their weapons on the Unit.
In the 90's, I worked at the State Mental Hospital. The Local, County, and State Police would all transport Patients to the Facility. They all wore their weapons. However, the Police did not specifically go on the Units. They accompanied the Patient to the Admission area.
In the early 'aughts, I heard of one circumstance where the police were actually summoned to a locked Psych Unit. An RN contacted the Local Police, during her MN Shift, in an attempt to establish order. She believed, under the circumstances, that the action she chose was the best course to take. Interesting situation. But, I don't know if the responding officers wore their weapons on the Unit or not. I'm gonna hafta find out.
I'll let you know. Until then, I'm gonna follow this interesting discussion.
Last edit by Davey Do on Aug 23, '10
Sep 8, '15
by kalycat, BSN, RN Pro
Back in the day (within the past 10 years) there was a policy at the state hospital where I worked that if a patient assaulted staff badly enough, charges could be filed and the patient taken in to police custody to be processed. It was a rather unpopular policy since after arrest, arraignment, and what have you, the patient would end up back on one of the units since we were the last stop in our region, so to speak. That said, if there was a continuing history of assault and battery of staff the patient would eventually go to the forensic unit.
I was involved in several such cases. The security team and several trained staff escorted the patient to the Sally port, where the patient was then taken in to custody. The officers had their weapons, but they never entered the unit. Thinking back though, in such a large facility, it could be a potential hazard. It has been a few years since I've followed up with friends from the place, so I'm not sure what the policy is now. A similar process was followed when patients where transported to the facility and admitted. Every effort was made to isolate the officer and new patient from the rest of the unit until admission and processing was complete, and there were locked sub-units and admitting rooms for this purpose.
Edited because I'm clearly having some sort of compulsive comma usage issue. And I can't spell.
Last edit by kalycat on Sep 8, '15