[The concept of Sentinel Events comes from the medical field and, as many of us suggest, is a way for police to also learn from their “mistakes” in a “no-blame, no-shame” atmosphere.]
“A straight news account from the Boston Globe lays out a Sentinel Event.
“Two features of strong interest:
1. The DA and the police have pledged to lay out their full investigative file.
2. Linked in the story is the Globe’s earlier extensive investigative piece on the Massachusetts mental health system and the momentum it generates to dump this problem on the families, and then, inevitably to dump some of them on the police.
3. Available for scrutiny here should be: a) the system weaknesses that caused this event, b) the ways in which the cops were “set up to fail”, c) the wellness issues that arise from collateral damage to family members and “second victim”.
“I spoke at an IACP panel on sentinel events and the mentally ill: here’s one. It was striking at IACP how many police had been persuaded that if they just came up with the perfect de-escalation technique and trained on it, all would be well in regard to the mentally ill. A sentinel event review here would challenge that admirable but mistaken acceptance of responsibility. Some of these things, once you let them get set in motion, are just going to go wrong.”
[From an email from Jim Doyle at the COPS Office on October 31, 2016.]
An earlier post on Sentinel Events can be found HERE.
I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader. After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. After 25 years leading two Episcopal Churches in Portage and North Lake, Wisconsin, I now serve as Associate Pastor in a growing, dynamic, and Spirit-filled Lutheran congregation in nearby Mazomanie.
View all posts by David Couper