Long Beach Police And Fire Departments Using Sedative On Suspects In State Of ‘Agitated Delirium’ As Part Of Pilot Program –

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (CBSLA) — In Long Beach, a pilot program involves training first responders how to identify someone who is suffering “agitated delirium,” and then having a trained paramedic give a sedative to the individual, in the aim of minimizing the need for force to subdue them.

Last November, body-cam footage shows LBPD officers attempting to arrest a guy at a Metro Rail Station. The guy leapt through a broken train window toward police after the incident lasted more than 30 minutes.

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Instead of police employing excessive force in these instances, a fire paramedic arrived and sedated the guy with a medication known as Midazolam, according to Police Chief Robert Luna.


Since January, the sedative Midazolam has been used as part of a trial study by the Long Beach Fire and Police Departments. (Photo courtesy of CBS)

“And then I brought him to the hospital where he needed to be right away. He doesn’t need to be locked up. He need urgent medical attention, which is precisely what we provided in this video in Long Beach,” Chief Luna stated.

The trial program began in January, and paramedics have only had to give the sedative to around three dozen individuals since then, with the new method proving to be effective, according to the researchers.

Nearly 1,000 Long Beach firemen, police officers, and dispatchers have been taught to identify someone in an agitated delirium caused by drugs or alcohol, mental illness, or out-of-control rage.

Only a qualified paramedic can assess the individual and give Midazolam on the spot in these situations.

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“Even though the fire department, our paramedics, have had procedure in place for many years to utilize Midazolam for many kinds of situations, including agitated delirium,” said Chief Xavier Espino of the Long Beach Fire Department.

However, there is a lot of debate over whether or not sedatives should be used outside of the hospital.

Three Colorado cops and two paramedics were charged on Wednesday in the death of Elijah McClain, who was allegedly put in a carotid hold and injected with ketamine after being stopped while going home in 2019.

Ketamine is not being used in the Long Beach pilot program, and authorities say Midazolam has been accepted by agencies across the county.

Chief Espino stated, “I believe it’s essential to highlight that everyone in public safety is constantly trying to enhance our performance.”

Chief Luna said, “At the end of the day, the result is extremely good for the individual receiving the treatment.”

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Both the fire chief and the police chief said that they would continue to evaluate the program’s success, but they could not predict how long it will last.

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