Wellness checks are far from routine for law enforcement agents

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 8:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Wednesday’s deputy-involved shooting in Shelby County all stems from a wellness check gone wrong.

The shooting led to two Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies visiting UAB Hospital.

Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge stresses that while you may perceive wellness checks as routine, often times the situations place law enforcement agents in great danger.

“They are like domestic disputes also, they are extremely dangerous. Nothing we do in law enforcement is routine and we have to treat those as such because you never know the motives of individuals who call these types of calls in to lure law enforcement to a location to either ambush them or confront them or that sort of thing. So your awareness has to be up there when you answer these types of calls.”

He stresses his department trains for the situation frequently as their safety is a top priority.

“We train on this regularly. We make sure they understand that no call is routine. That you have to treat every call with the utmost importance, but you also have to do it with the utmost safety to make sure you are doing it safely and that you approach the scene safely.”

Chief Partridge says the danger can be caused due to any number of scenarios.

“The individuals you are checking on could be mentally ill, there is a number of things. They could be actually calling to confront police officers because they have a beef with them. You just never know.”

While it’s unclear why the suspect fired on the Shelby County deputies, Chief Partridge stressed his department’s prayers are with the deputies and the Shelby County Sheriff’s office. Perhaps this is just another reminder of the dangers these men and women deal with on a day-to-day basis in an effort to protect and serve you.

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