Lee Co. sheriff addresses protocol for mental health crisis resp - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. sheriff addresses protocol for mental health crisis response

Sheriff Reggie Rachals responded to a situation with his deputies that ended with a man committing suicide. (Source: WALB) Sheriff Reggie Rachals responded to a situation with his deputies that ended with a man committing suicide. (Source: WALB)
The Sheriff said these situations are tough for everyone involved. (Source: WALB) The Sheriff said these situations are tough for everyone involved. (Source: WALB)
"We've had 16 hours (this year) going into that on officer survival training," he explained. (Source: WALB) "We've had 16 hours (this year) going into that on officer survival training," he explained. (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals responded to a situation with his deputies that ended with a man committing suicide Wednesday morning.

According to him, situations like these are tough for everyone involved, including his deputies and other first responders.

"The end goal is to try to keep everybody safe, even the one that may be threatening to harm themselves or others around them," said Rachals.

He said his deputies train throughout the year to respond to different situations, including people who appear to be in some sort of mental health crisis.

"This year alone, we've had 16 hours going into that on officer survival training," he explained.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office does not have anyone specifically dedicated to these types of situations.

"It's whoever gets the call, basically, who has to do the talking, unless somebody arrives on scene that can do a little better job," explained Rachals.

Rachals said he understands situations like these are part of being in law enforcement, but it still is not easy for deputies and other first responders, including firefighters and EMTs who responded Wednesday morning.

"It's pretty tough on a person, no matter who you are," he said. "You're going to cope with it in different ways."

Sheriff Rachals said he hopes anyone facing any sort of personal crisis would reach out and ask for help.

"Find somebody to talk to," he pleaded. "There's other routes other than harming yourself or others around you that are trying to help you."

Sheriff Rachals said he has offered his deputies counseling and a chance to speak with chaplains following the tragic incident on Wednesday.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.

Keep up with WALB on the go! 
Follow us on social  
   or download our apps!

Powered by Frankly