Mother: I put the knife down, listened to the cops

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A Wichita mother is grateful her mental health crisis call ended peacefully.

"I feel glad that I put the knife down and listened to the cops," said Jasmine Ruark.

On Sunday around 11:40 a.m., police were called to the area of 13th Street and Pershing to the report of a suicidal woman with a knife.

"I was tired of people just walking all over me. I just flipped out and tried to kill myself," she said.

The 24-year-old wife and mother of two young children held a knife for hours before crisis negotiators were able to deescalate the situation and get her help at the hospital. 

Ruark said she was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety from past traumas, and is now taking medicine.

"I just thank God that they were here to help me like that, and other people," said Ruark.

Ruark's case is one example of the challenging situations officers face everyday.

"Our goal is to resolve those peacefully. It's not always determined by us, though. The person with the weapon or the gun is the one that often determines the outcomes," said Chief Gordon Ramsay, Wichita Police.

The number of mental health related cases have been increasing since 2009. A decade ago, there were three crisis negotiators.

In 2016, Ramsay increased the number of crisis negotiators to eight.

"Our officers that are dealing with that are trained in a way to successfully resolve those. Our first hope is to talk, talk, talk our way through those situations, so that we avert a crisis," he said.

The number of mental health related cases have increased from 2,824 to 3,492, in 2009 and 2018, respectively.

Since the beginning of 2019, there have been 2,520 mental health related cases.