Opinion: Kudos to the Dartmouth police and SWAT team
To the editor:
The recent standoff with a Dartmouth resident who ostensibly suffered from mental problems was resolved without injury or death, which is a testament to police and SWAT de-escalation tactics.
With proper training and awareness of mental illness and associated violence, police officers, in tandem with specially trained operatives, can defuse situations that possibly would have caused death to the perpetrator, bystander, or the responding officers.
This is not the first time, though usually not publicly known, that the Dartmouth police have encountered a threatening and weapon bearing individual and have peacefully and successfully avoided a serious confrontation and then escorted the individual to a hospital for evaluation.
It is essential that the public be apprised of these de-escalated situations for two primary reasons: it demonstrates the validity of specialized training for responding officers and assisting agencies and it provides the public with substantiated evidence that mental illness and drug addiction are frequently the problem rather than criminal intent.