An example of community policing may have saved the life of a Richmond juvenile who had armed himself with a knife and had threatened to hurt himself, police said.
The incident unfolded about 8 p.m. on March 24 in a home in the south side of the city, Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said. Due to the nature of the incident, police are not releasing further information on the home’s location.
At the time, Richmond beat officers were out meeting and talking with residents about crime prevention in the area when they heard a radio broadcast about the juvenile in distress. The knife-toting kid had reportedly locked himself in his room and said he wanted to hurt himself, Tan said.
One of the officers recognized the address, as he has a rapport with the juvenile. He and the other officer quickly responded to the home to speak to the juvenile.
“Once there, Officer Bruce patiently talked to the individual through the locked bedroom door,” Tan said. “The officer reminded him of the connection and rapport they had from previous calls of similar circumstance. After awhile, the officer gained the juvenile’s trust and convinced him not to hurt himself. The juvenile, now unarmed, opened the door and he was greeted by the officers.”
After more time spent talking to the juvenile and his parents, the officers recommended counseling options and assured them that the Police Department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) would follow up with them.
“The juvenile was taken to a local medical facility for a mental health evaluation,” Tan added.
Tan touted the officers’ compassion and patience.
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