press release - 08021601

Sheriff's Deputies Help Avert Potential Suicide By Cop


Los Alamos - August 2nd, 2016

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, 2016, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of a family disturbance at a residence in the 600 block of Main Street in Los Alamos.  A family member called 9-1-1 to report a 27-year-old male was out of control and screaming at family members.  Sheriff’s deputies contacted the male in front of the residence near his vehicle. 

During the course of the investigation, deputies learned the subject planned to attack deputies with a shovel to make them shoot him.  However, the cautious approach the deputies employed thwarted the subject’s plan. During the contact, the subject became very agitated and aggressive and had to be handcuffed by deputies.  He subsequently made several suicidal statements and asked deputies what he needed to do so that they would shoot him. 

Santa Barbara County Mental Health Care and Recovery Emergency Services (CARES) responded to assist and placed a mental health hold on the subject.  Sheriff’s deputies seized two firearms that were registered to him pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 W&I.

This case is an example of some of the challenges law enforcement are faced with when they come into contact with individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis.  Sheriff’s deputies receive training on how to utilize sound tactics and communication techniques when they are confronted with scenarios such as this one. 

The Sheriff’s Office recently developed and is offering a state recognized Crisis Intervention Training program which is now available to all Santa Barbara County Law Enforcement.  The training is designed to help law enforcement learn how to best respond to situations that involve people who may have mental health issues or who are developmentally disabled. 



For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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