(click here to read part 1.)
These are stories from a previous job. For the privacy of those involved, names and details have been changed.
The two police officers walk up to us. Walter is yelling into his hand, laughing.
The officers watch Walter for a moment. One says, "Sir? Could we have a word with you?" Walter doesn't hear them, he's too busy interacting with voices.
"Sir? Can you lower your voice? We just have a few questions."
"Nixon's horse didn't mind," Walter says, "they bribed it with whiskey." He stamps one foot, belly-laughs, continues yelling into his hand.
I speak up. I use a low-voice, try to sound half-bored, half-tired. "Walter means well, he's just having a tough morning. It's my fault...we should have stayed home; I apologize."
The first officer ignores me, continues to ask Walter if he can have a word. The second officers says, "Follow me over here."
We walk to the other side of their car. The officer asks, "So, what's going on.?"
I say, "He's just having a tough morning. He can be like this, and it's loud, but I promise he means well."
"Does he have any history of violent behavior? Any problems with anger?"
I shake my head "no", say, "He's sweet...he can just struggle with the volume sometimes."
The other officer asks Walter if he can look in his grocery bag. Walter doesn't reply. The officer tries to take the bag from him, but Walter won't let go of it. I say, "It's toothpaste. We just came for toothpaste."
The officer grabs his wrist, pulls the bag out of his hand, looks into it. He hands it back to Walter. He says, "I need to search his pockets. He have anything I should know about? Knives? Needles?"
"No, sir. He'll just have a wallet."
He searches Walter. The second officer looks at me, asks, "Does he have a diagnosis?"
I stare at my shoes.
"Are you family?" he asks. "Staff?"
I stare at the back of my hand.
First officer completes his search. Looks at us. Shrugs. Second officer says, "So here's the deal...several people called in, reported that an adult male was acting disruptive, angry. He doesn't strike me as angry...but I have to agree that this is disruptive."
"We're gonna have to take Mr. Walter here and escort him off the premise. But you say he's a nice guy, and I'm not gonna feel right sticking a nice guy in a jail cell. If we were to process him through the emergency room, have him admitted to the hospital's psychiatric ward...would you feel like that's an all right middle ground?"
He nods. First officer takes out handcuffs. I say, "Oh...handcuffs?" Second officer says, "Sorry, that is written-in-stone policy. No way around it. We'll get them off quick as we can, once we're settled at the ER."
The officers take the grocery bag out of Walter's hand, give it to me. They take his arms, slowly move them behind his back, cuff him. I'm relieved to see Walter go along with it, he just continues to talk to himself. I was a little worried that he might react when they took away his communication device, but he seems oblivious to it all.
Once Walter is in their car, the second officer says, "You could meet us there if you wanted, but I'm guessing he'll be unavailable for awhile."
They nod, leave. The other police car drives off in a different direction.
I wave at the dozen or so spectators, then flip them off. I get in my car, drive back to work.
Once there, I pull open a file cabinet drawer. It's filled with color-coded incident reports, each one intended for a different supervisor, committee or department. I stare at them for a moment.
I call Marcy, describe what happened. She says, "Okay. I'll let his case manager know where he's at. I'm sure he'll be there a few days, at least; until his meds are adjusted."
"Which will probably work miracles. Always does."
She says, "Yup. Anything else?"
"Oh, I couldn't figure out the incident reports. The color-coding deal just confuses me. Which ones do I fill out?"
"I thought every department had a little laminated chart that breaks it all down?"
"We used to have one taped to the cabinet. It fell off years ago, disappeared. I guess we forgot to get a new one."
"Okay. So...with this being off-site, and the police thing...you need three forms. The gray, all-purpose incident report. That goes to me. Then you need the blue form...that goes to the Safety Committee. Then the purple form...that's for the lawyers, goes to Mike. With the Safety Committee, you want to keep it brief. Say as little as possible, otherwise they'll just make a new policy. With the lawyers, you want to provide as much detail as possible. Otherwise they'll just make a new policy. "
I laugh, say, "Okay."
"Grey, me. Blue, Safety. Purple, Mike."
"Got it. Thanks, Marcy."
"Thanks, M. Get those in. Go sleep."
I grab forms, a clipboard...I lay on the couch, fill shit out. I cram envelopes in the inter-office mail tray.
Finally, before leaving, I place Walter's toothpaste in his bathroom cabinet.