EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An El Paso family is frustrated with how the El Paso Police Department Crises Intervention Team responded to calls of a suicidal family member.
KTSM 9 News spoke with EPPD on Wednesday about what criteria people must meet in order for them to be detained.
An El Pasoan, Rodolfo Hierro, also known as “Rudy” died from suicide in June. He was in and out of the hospital prior to his death.
“He had posted a suicidal note on Facebook but took it down real fast we let them know you know he’s suicidal. We need to get him help. He’s in another world,” said Jose Hierro, Rudy’s brother.
Rudy’s family called EPPD’s Crises Intervention Team, which is a special unit that has an officer partnered with a mental health expert.
“The CIT Unit they actually went out there three times and they didn’t do anything. I told them look man if you guys don’t help us out we can’t get him in there. We need you guys to help us out and it’s going to lead to something bad and so they decided not to do it,” said Jose Hierro.
However, the family said Rudy would not admit that he was suicidal.
EPPD Crises Intervention Team telling KTSM 9 News that the person has to meet their specific criteria to be detained.
“If the officer goes out and meets with this person and is telling them, ‘Hey I’m thinking about suicide and I want to hurt myself and I have a plan,’ that person is going to meet those criteria,” said Samuel Rangel a Sargent with the CIT Unit.
He added that the CIT Unit may respond to the same house multiple times.
“We may stay there for a few minutes or up to an hour and even after that time we can determine we don’t have enough. So we do have to meet that strict criteria,” said SGT. Rangel.
EPPD’s CIT Unit said that if you believe someone you love is posing a danger to themselves it’s best to call 911 and specifically request the CIT Unit.