Ever have to sit around and chat with a whacko?

Let me get right out in front here and say I have no official psychiatric and/or psychological training. Consequently, my assessment of whacko is more than likely not accurate. However, it serves my point…

As I’ve repeatedly point out, I work a significant amount of OT. A large portion of said OT is in the form of covering a beat. Part of my responsibility in covering a beat is responding to any number of calls for service. On occasion, a call for service may include a 5150 evaluation. I’m not going to get into the specifics of how the 5150 section reads. Let’s just operate under the assumption that if you’re 5150, you need some help I can’t provide you. For example, if you tell you boss (after you’ve been fired) you might as well kill yourself, you may very well fit the category. If you take a handful of Ambien and leave a note saying you can no longer live with the decisions you’ve made in your life, you certainly fit into the category. Basically, if you make a statement that leads an officer to believe you are a threat to yourself or others, you need to go talk to a mental health professional. Of which, I am not.
Our area Fire has contracted with an ambulance company to transport our 5150s. No worries. The trouble comes in when they give at ETA of 45 minutes. I kindly refer you back to the title of this post. In my aforementioned non-professional capacity, I may be sitting with someone who is in real danger of killing themselves if I leave. The flip side is that I may be sitting with someone who made an off-hand and admittedly f’n stupid comment out of hurt or anger and has no intention whatsoever to hurt themselves. Either way, I’m stuck with them for the duration.
Now, I’m not one for small talk with strangers anyway. So what exactly am I supposed to say to Nutty Nancy or Krazy Kevin? “So….um….how’d like that scene in Roger Rabbit about Toon Town?” Probably not. “You much of a Ken Kesey fan?” Google it…I’ll wait.
The worst is the borderline 5150 where you just get an inkling that leaving this one behind is a bad idea. Then I get to spend 45 minutes following him/her around the house while the dog is let outside, a small bag is packed, phone calls are made, etc. At least the person is doing something and not boring crazy holes into my head staring at me.
5150s suck.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

13 thoughts on “Ever have to sit around and chat with a whacko?

  1. Wasnt 5150 the name of a Van Halen album??? And we call them Baker Acts down here or Sig 20's. I feel ur pain. Transporting them wasnt fun either.

    Also, why pray tell are the adds under your post, "Find out if your man is Gay"????? They're making me all paranoid and shit. Keep lookin at my guy sideways now at night.

  2. "Ever have to sit around and chat with a whacko?"

    What?! You're not higly adept in such situations?!

    You've not spoken with police administrators or government officials before???

  3. Yeah, 5150's suck, but they at least leave you with amusing, blog-able content sometimes, and they don't suck quite as much as the mess left behind when they carry it out.

    This is the topic of my own most recent post from yesterday. Interesting timing, MC.

    Yeah, that was a shameless plug for my own new blog. Unlike MC's blog here, though, mine has no redeeming value at all. Really.

  4. Funny that you reference Ken Kesey. One flew over the coocoo's nest was dedicated to by brother's godfather. This guy Is one of my parent's best friends. Ask me about it sometime.
    -BIL

  5. 45 minutes? Quit yer bitchin!

    We have to babysit a full 4 hours (6 if the magistrate issues the paper and approves it.)

    That's 4 hours in the emergency room with someone often crazier than a football bat. It's enough to make your ears bleed sometimes.

  6. why yes, i chat with crazy people every day! Just yesterday i had Frick and Frack.. two old ladies on the bus.. and they were arguing… over whether YESTERDAY was Hotter than TODAY.

    7.75 an hour sometimes isnt worth it!

  7. Try being a hairdresser. I had every whack job in town and the neighboring community today. People wonder why hairdressers like to drink…

    Maybe THAT is why I keep meeting cops! We both deal with crazy people.

    I think they are referred to as 302's around here.

  8. Question: when you're doing OT like this and babysitting the 5150s, are you Motorcop on your bike or are you a regular patrol cop in a squad car?

  9. This is where us dispatchers have the advantage. A relatively brief encounter on the phone and then we can pass them off to our happy officers. Don't know how you guys do it face to face w/o becoming one of the 5150's yourself. Job security I suppose 🙂

  10. Wendy…

    On this particular day I was pushing a beat car around, but I often cover the beat guys.

    'Course if it was their call, I wouldn't have to wait around with them!

  11. "boring crazy holes into my head staring at me."

    This was the best quote of the day until I read the other comments to this post, most notable,

    "crazier than a football bat"

    Thanks for the chuckles. Just found your blog today (it was referenced in a news article about the top ten most ticketed vehicle types) and am loving it!

    Cheers

  12. 5150s suck. Yup

    It's a whole lot worse to be one. Keep that in mind. It might help the time pass.

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