Law enforcement responded to the home of a suicidal male in Wellington early Saturday morning. Thanks to prior training and cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies, the subject began treatment and is reportedly doing well.
One officer in particular, Wellington City Police Captain Chad Feichko, was paramount in ensuring the situation was handled properly. For his exceptional service, the Wellington City Council honored him at a meeting on Wednesday night.
According to Feichko, a call was received around 1:30 a.m. A woman stated that an intoxicated male subject in his 50s had two guns and was suicidal. Personnel from Wellington City, Price City and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office were quickly dispatched to the scene. After a short brief with the reporting party, officers and deputies set up around the perimeter of the home.
Feichko was dispatched to a window at the back of the home where he had clear sight of the suicidal man sitting with two guns near him. After speaking with the subject, the man allowed Feichko to enter the home. The Wellington captain was able to secure the weapons before sitting down to speak with the man.
Instead of writing the struggling man a citation or booking him into jail, Feichko used his Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to set up a long-term safety plan. CIT is an alliance between mental health providers and law enforcement to work as a team to respond to people who are in a crisis, especially those struggling with mental health.
“I do know because of the safety plan family members were able to get him on the correct medication and help him out with his depression,” Feichko explained. “The training I got from the CIT program was extremely valuable in this situation. Instead of responding continually, a plan is in place to reduce having to go back and deal with problems or a much bigger problem.”
Feichko explained that in many cases similar to this, outcomes have been vastly different, ranging from incarceration and bodily injury to deadly force.
“It’s not just about arresting ‘bad guys,'” Feichko said. “Coming up with something alternative to arrest is a successful resolution.”
Price City Police Captain Bill Barnes recounted the story to council members on Wednesday and praised Feichko for how he handled the situation.
“Chad is a great officer and he has a great department,” Barnes said. “Even if he never did anything else in his career, that one event made it all worth it.”