A Kansas City police officer in distress barricaded herself with her two children in a Kansas City, Kan., hotel for some 24 hours before negotiators safely got her out and to a hospital Tuesday morning.
Kansas City, Kan., police said they were called to help at the Holiday Inn Express about 3 a.m. Monday after family members feared for the mother’s safety, saying she was possibly in mental crisis.
Kansas City, Kan., police, Lenexa police and the FBI collaborated in securing the scene and negotiating with the woman.
“The individual in crisis was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and the children released to family after being evaluated by medical staff,” a Kansas City, Kan., police spokesman said in a written statement Tuesday.
Kansas City Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jacob Becchina said the officer was off-duty during the incident at the hotel.
The officer is a 22-year veteran with the Kansas City Police Department and had been on an administrative assignment since May 20, with no assigned police or enforcement activities, Becchina said.
The Police Department has a number of initiatives and programs that foster the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of its sworn officers and civilian employees, Becchina said.
“Each person is different but what we know about the field and career of law enforcement is there are stressors and there are events that occur much the same as in the military that can cause mental health issues,” he said.
The Kansas City, Kan., police statement noted that first responders suffer post traumatic stress disorder and depression at levels five times greater than civilians and that, in society, “very little has been done to address it.”
“The mental health and welfare of first responders is a primary concern of all law enforcement agencies,” the statement said.
Becchina said the KCPD echoes those concerns.
“We know more about the effects of secondary trauma and post-traumatic stress now than we ever have,” he said. “We want all our employees to be healthy, happy and well so that they can best serve the members of the community. We wish this officer the best in her treatment and recovery.”
The hotel, which is across the street from the University of Kansas Medical Center, was one of two scenes that drew heavy police presence to the area Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Police also responded to an unrelated shooting that occurred in the vestibule of the hospital entrance, where a gunman fatally shot a man, left a woman wounded and killed himself about 11:30 p.m. Monday.
The man and woman had been injured in a shooting at another location and had fled to the hospital to seek medical attention when the gunman chased them down.