On Monday, Jan. 23 at 8:30 a.m. Kimberley RCMP received a call about a suicidal male in the 800 block of 307th St. in Marysville, Kimberley.
Sgt. Steve Woodcox, Kimberley RCMP detachment commander, told the Bulletin the male was reported to be in an R.V. at that location and in possession of a knife.
“I attended, the male was supposed to be suicidal in possession of a knife, and had comments that if the RCMP came in the R.V. he would harm himself, so for that reason we contained the scene,” Woodcox said.
The Southeast District Containment Team was then called out, in advance of the arrival of the Emergency Response Team (ERT).
They arrived to contain the scene. Nearby Marysville Elementary was put on lockdown to ensure all staff and students remained in the school. Some residents at the location were also locked down.
A RCMP negotiator became involved and after several hours the male exited the R.V. and was taken into custody by the containment team members, and then apprehended by the Kimberley RCMP under the Mental Health Act and taken to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
ERT units were en route, but didn’t arrive on scene before the Containment Team and negotiator successfully apprehended the individual.
“The Containment Team’s job is simply to contain the subject in an area, being the R.V., to make sure the individual can’t all of a sudden get to another residence and harm someone else,” Woodcox explained.
“Yesterday was not ERT, they were en route, they were a Containment Team and their job is just to contain the subject, because we have a suicidal male, with what we believed is a knife and we do not want that subject to get to another residence, we do not want that subject to get to the nearby school and do who knows what.”
Woodcox added that situations can take a long time, simply due to the fact that negotiations can take a long time as they are often talking to people in a mental health crisis, as was the case on Monday.
The individual did not threaten anyone but himself, but the RCMP had to make sure that he didn’t go to another residence, which is why the Containment Team was on hand.
As the individual was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, no criminal charges are filed, and the responsibility of the RCMP was to take him to a medical facility to be seen by doctors and mental health professionals.
“That’s the obligations of the police, there’s no criminal charges, the gentleman was in a mental health crisis and that’s not a criminal matter,” Woodcox said.
Woodcox said he wanted to thank the public for their patience, as the RCMP isn’t always able to let everyone know what’s going on in an incident like that.
I know it’s an inconvenience, but remember this is someone’s son or daughter and at the end of the day, we just want to make sure that person comes out safe and they don’t hurt themselves or hurt anyone,” he said.
“So if people have to be inconvenienced to resolve something, buddy coming out and not being injured then it’s a good day.”