High Risk Incident Ends Safely in Vernon

Vernon RCMP2

A situation involving a young person in mental health crisis on the rooftop of a building in downtown Vernon was brought to a safe conclusion early Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, May 4th, 2022, shortly after 3 a.m., the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP received a request to assist a person suffering a mental health crisis. Frontline officers responded to the 2900-block of 28th Avenue in Vernon and found the person, who had climbed to the top of a building.

Shortly after making contact with the teen, it became apparent to the responding officers she was experiencing a mental health crisis. To ensure her safety, as well as that of emergency responders, police shut off power to the building and cordoned off an area of the downtown core. For three hours, officers, including an RCMP Crisis Negotiator, continued to communicate with the girl and employed crisis intervention and de-escalation tactics to prevent her from harming herself.

At approximately 6 a.m., police apprehended the young person under the Mental Health Act, and with the assistance of Vernon Fire Rescue Services, she was helped from the building and taken to the hospital for medical assessment.

Thankfully, it was a good ending to an incredibly high-risk situation this morning, states Superintendent Shawna Baher, Officer in Charge of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. "The skills, training, and experience of our officers in helping people in crisis, ultimately prevented what could have been a very different outcome. It exemplifies the exceptional work and dedication we see everyday from them and other first responders in our community. It highlights how prevalent mental health issues are in our community and why it’s so important that we continue to advocate for additional mental health resources be in place and readily available to support and assist frontline
responders at calls such as this.

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP wish to thank Vernon Fire Rescue Services, BC Emergency Health Services, and everyone who assisted in bringing a safe resolution to this incident.