Explorers Practice Baker Act Procedure

When someone has been reported to the sheriff’s office who is allegedly

unstable, an officer is sent out to determine whether or not that is the case. In a high

risk situation, such as a Baker Act, the officer has a very important decision to make:

should the person be Baker acted? This is why the Pasco County Explorers at post 916

are trained to handle assignments like this one in particular.

In a high risk situation, an officer must be able to determine whether or not to

Baker act someone based on several key factors. Safety of those around the individual

in question also plays a key role in determining whether or not to take the person into

protective custody.

“When we get there, we want to see how much of a threat to themselves and

others they are, and if they want to harm themselves or others. If we decide that they

are a threat, then we ask if they want any help. If they refuse, then we have to find

enough evidence to Baker act them. From there, we then ask them to cooperate with

putting them in handcuffs. Unfortunately, if they don’t, we have to go hands on. Once

they are in protective custody, we search them to make sure they don't have anything to

harm themselves, and we take them to a treatment facility,” stated Explorer and FTO

Sergeant Brent Randolph.

Utilizing textbooks and note cards to study is not the only way for students to

learn the correct procedures in dealing with an individual that may be baker acted .

They use a variety of scenarios, so that they can have real life application to the

situations.

“The best thing you can do is to train yourself to help someone with mental health

issues and constantly run through scenarios, and to know the laws and procedures of

Baker Acts. When you arrive on any call, you are going to have some sort of stress or

adrenaline in your system, so if you train on some kind of scenarios like real life, you will

start to develop good muscle memory, and good habits that help you save your life and

others,” said Randolph.

With every call for a Baker Act, there must be an officer prepared to handle the

situation. This is why the Explorers at post 916 must be extremely diligent while working

to become officers, and to better protect the community that they serve.

Reporting. Explorer Public Information Officer: Emma Diehl