FERNDALE – After two hours of negotiation July 21, local authorities rescued a veteran in need – who had been threatening to kill himself inside a Ferndale home – so that he could get help.
At approximately noon, the Ferndale Police Department received a call from a relative of the 41-year-old veteran.
“He notified multiple relatives, either through texting or phone calls, to either say goodbye or to tell them that he intended on committing suicide,” Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown said. “And one of them called us.”
Authorities from Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, and Madison Heights were on the scene during the incident in the 2000 block of Leitch Road, east of Hilton Road and north of Nine Mile Road. According to a police statement, officers set up a perimeter around the home to ensure the public’s safety, but police did not declare a SWAT situation.
Brown credited an officer who responded to the scene, a veteran, for establishing a rapport with the veteran in distress.
“They’re both veterans,” he said. “They both experienced similar things while in the military and, you know, that’s always the preferred option for situations like this. And they just talked about things and life and tomorrow, and how important that is.”
“Typically, in situations like this, there is an ebb and flow of emotions from the person inside the house,” Brown said. “There are times where they’re more excited, and that segues into times where you’re able to have some heartfelt dialogue with them. So at no time was he frantically violent or enraged in our dialogue. But he just wouldn’t come out.”
After two hours of negotiation, officers used a distraction technique to gain a tactical advantage that enabled them to enter the home and secure the man, according to the statement.
The man was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. No injuries occurred during the incident, and no criminal charges were pending and no weapons were located inside the home.
“Here’s the bottom line: It’s someone who was in crisis who didn’t need criminal intervention,” Brown said. “He needs help that we can’t give him. And we did everything we could in our power to get him the help that he needs, and offer him support in the coming days. If he needs anything, (he should know) to call us before it gets to this point, and we’ll be happy to have that conversation with him in the future.”
Brown also wanted to note that any veteran who is facing a crisis or who is having suicidal thoughts should call (800) 273-8255 or visit www.veteranscrisisline.com.