Sunday, November 25, 2012

Alabama policeman killed in the line of duty by mentally unstable person at community based treatment center aka his mom's trailer.

This is a horrible story.  A policeman from Baldwin County Alabama was killed in a shootout while answering a family disturbance call.

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) — The shootout that left one Alabama deputy sheriff dead and another in critical condition on Saturday began when they checked on a man at his mobile home and he opened fire on them, authorities said.
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Mack told that gunfire erupted Friday after Michael Jansen pulled a handgun on Deputy Scott Ward and his colleagues outside of Jansen's Fairhope-area home.
Ward was fatally wounded after responding about 4 p.m. with two other deputies to a family disturbance call at the residence. Deputies returned fire, killing Jansen.

It turns out the shooter was a mentally unstable person and in recent years his mother had attempted two times to have her son committed to a mental health facility and placed under psychiatric care.  

Mack told The Press-Register of Mobile that deputies had responded several times to deal with issues arising from Jansen's mental health. Court records show that his mother moved to have him committed in 2009 and in 2010, and that a probate judge agreed to send him to a state hospital twice in 2010. The newspaper reported that Jansen's mother had called 911 on Friday to report that he was agitated and wouldn't calm down.

But unfortunately budget cuts in the Alabama have targeted mental health institutions, leaving the care and treatment of more patients like Michael Jansen to "community based" treatment centers, aka, roaming the streets and living with mom in the trailer.   ADMH Announces Searcy Hospital Closure Date

Hopefully in Alabama as law enforcement officials, politicians, and the heavily conservative electorate pay their respects to the fallen officer, they will take some time to reflect on their collective decision to pare back the state budget for mental health treatment facilities, leaving Officer Ward and other Alabama law enforcement personnel vulnerable to ambush attacks such as this. This tragedy was preventable.

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