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If you don’t think police officers wear many different hats — sometimes at the same time — then you missed the story about the Lynn standoff that spanned two days last week.
The incident ended without injury thanks to police officers working with mental health professionals, firefighters and other law enforcement workers.
It’s hard to imagine a more harrowing experience than the one police encountered last Wednesday evening when they converged on Forest Hill Avenue, a steep street off North Franklin Street, after receiving a call about a person barricaded in a residence and suffering from mental-health issues.
According to police, officers spoke through an open window to a child who said she needed help and told police the home’s front door was barricaded.
Police watched as a woman they described as distraught took the child into a bedroom. “Officers believed the child was in immediate danger,” said Police Lt. Michael Kmiec.
Over the next 40 hours, officers and the people assisting them managed to rescue the child unharmed and succeeded in convincing the woman, who police said was armed with a butcher knife, to surrender.
Tragedy was avoided on Forest Hill Avenue because experienced and well-trained law enforcement officers took the appropriate measures and asked for help from the right people.
When it mattered most, when a child’s life was in danger, Lynn officers acted professionally and quickly — and, ultimately, effectively — even as they risked their lives. They were called on during the standoff to exercise mental-health awareness and conflict-resolution skills in addition to using their law-enforcement training.
We want police to act correctly and justly and we owe a debt of gratitude to the officers who saved two lives without injury to themselves and others and who were true to the motto “to protect and to serve.”