Officers responding to a report of a possibly suicidal man in downtown Bath on Monday were forced to shut down local streets during a “very tense” hourlong standoff before persuading him to drop his handgun and surrender, police said Monday.

The 41-year-old Bath man, whom police would not identify, was taken to Mid Coast Hospital for an evaluation and could face criminal charges, according to Bath police Lt. Robert Savary.

Savary said police got a call about the man from his landlady, who said he was possibly suicidal and walking in the downtown area.

Officer Mark Steele initially approached the man in Waterfront Park off Commercial Street but saw he was holding a handgun at his side. Steele backed away, took cover and called for backup, Savary said. As those officers arrived, the man fired his gun once into the ground but did not respond to officers as they tried to communicate with him.

After about an hour, the man “finally obeyed commands by Sgt. (Dan) Couture and put the weapon down and approached officers with his hands raised,” Savary said.

In addition to Bath police, deputies from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, Brunswick police and a Maine State Police trooper responded to the scene, and the Bath Fire Department helped close nearby streets.

“This was a very tense situation,” Savary said. “The cold temperatures and gusty winds made it even more challenging, but in the end we had a peaceful resolution and hopefully this man can get the help he needs.”

It was just this sort of situation that prompted a Maine state legislator to propose a bill this session that would require all Maine police departments to have officers trained to deal with mental health crises by 2017.

The proposal from Rep. Richard Malaby, R-Hancock, would expand crisis intervention team training, a 40-hour class that teaches police to handle situations involving people in potentially violent mental health crises. The class is provided free by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Currently, police participation in the program is uneven. All of Portland’s officers have taken it, but only about 10 percent of Maine State Police, according to NAMI records.

Bath police officials were not available Monday night to say whether their officers have gone through the training.

A 2012 series of reports by the Portland Press Herald found that 42 percent of people shot by Maine police since 2000 – and 58 percent of those who died as a result – had mental health problems. The Press Herald investigation also revealed that Maine and the rest of the country have failed to employ methods or invest in training that could defuse life-threatening situations with mentally impaired people.

The text of the bill hasn’t been released yet, but Malaby said it will propose that 20 percent of full-time-equivalent officers in every department go through the 40-hour class within two years.