Standoff shows off Suffolk’s PD

Published 11:02 pm Monday, December 29, 2008

Two different times within the past week, the Suffolk Police Department’s Critical Incident Response Team has been called to the scene of a police standoff. Both incidents resulted in a suspect turning himself in to police without violence on either side.

Police standoffs in Suffolk are rare episodes. That there were two in such quick succession is an incredible coincidence, perhaps provoked by the suspects’ desire to spend their holidays anywhere but in police custody. That both incidents ended peacefully is a testament to the training and professionalism of the Suffolk Police Department, in general, and the Critical Incident Response Team, in particular.

Each of the two cases could have turned out far different, as police officers surely could have stormed the houses where the suspects hid, firing teargas to flush them out and waiting with weapons ready to fire at the slightest provocation. But cooler heads prevailed, and police instead relied on the power of persuasion to elicit surrender. Not a shot was fired in either incident, and nobody was hurt.

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Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George referred to the outcome as “a happy ending.” While it may not be the stuff of fairy tales, the conclusion of the two incidents is what dreams are made of for police officers, who look for every opportunity to do their jobs without endangering themselves, the public or even the suspects they intend to apprehend.

Suffolk residents can feel safer knowing that they have such professionals enforcing the law within their city.