Offcier of the Month January, 2023
Officer Shawn Norfleet
Officer Alain Guerra
On January 16, 2023, Officers Norfleet and Guerra responded to a call via Miami-Dade Dispatch where a 28-year-old male was suffering from a mental crisis and making threats to end his life with a knife. The male hung up the phone on 9-1-1 and was no longer responding or answering the phone. Upon arrival, Officers Norfleet and Guerra tactically positioned their vehicles and identified the male in crisis in the front yard of a residence. Officer Norfleet quickly conveyed over the radio and alerted the responding units that the male had a knife and to keep a safe distance. Officers Norfleet and Guerra worked efficiently as a team to de-escalate the situation and helped the male in crisis. The male kept repeating, “I don’t want to be here anymore”, while pointing the knife towards his stomach. Officer Norfleet utilized de-escalation techniques by continually talking to the male and trying to build rapport.
The male continued to sob while telling Officers that he “no longer wanted to live”. Officer Guerra, along with the backup units, reverted to their training and tactically positioned themselves in a triangular formation with a less lethal (Taser 7) tool at a low-ready position. This allowed Officer Norfleet to maintain constant communication with the male and to convince him to put the knife down and not hurt himself or others. Officer Norfleet continued to issue loud verbal commands towards the male in crisis as well as other officers on the scene to facilitate the safest outcome of the situation. With time, patience, and a lot of persuasion from Officer Norfleet, the male sat down and placed the knife on the ground. The officers immediately used the small window of opportunity to close the distance between themselves and the male. The officers safely removed the large knife from the male and quickly placed the male into protective custody without incident.
In response to the teamwork, diligence and fast-thinking actions of Officers Norfleet, Guerra, and additional North Miami Police Officers, the male suffering from a mental crisis was saved. The officers afforded the male an opportunity to receive the proper mental health treatment that he so desperately needed. The Courage and Empathy that both Officers Norfleet and Guerra showed during this incident display the two core values of the North Miami Police Department to Make a Positive Impact within the community.