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Editorial: Cops deftly handle situation
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, while many residents were enjoying the last vestiges of warm weather, Medford police officers were scouring the city for two armed men wanted in connection with three robberies.

The Police Department and several individual officers deserve a lot of credit for the work they did on Sept. 26 following the first telephone call that a liquor store in Malden had been robbed by two men wielding guns and machetes.

Kudos first to Officers John Keating and Robert Rockwell, who left their shift and while off duty, checked out the address on Brogan Road to which the getaway car in the Malden incident was registered. Both ended up staying on the scene long after going off duty until the scene was cleared.

Sgt. David Buono did a fantastic job coordinating the efforts of officers on the streets who were not only searching for the two suspects, but also responded to Bargain Spot Liquors in West Medford and Anthony's Liquors in Haines Square.

Also, Sgt. Kevin Faller made sure the staging area was well handled for all phases of the operation. Faller coordinated not only all the responding Medford units, but other law enforcement mutual aid units who arrived on the scene.

Sgt. Edward Durham, the shift commander, should also be commended for his quick thinking in tracking down the unlisted telephone number at the house in which the two suspects were holed up. Durham also showed how cool under pressure he truly is by opening up the lines of communication with the suspects in the house, finally talking both men outside.

Chief Leo A. Sacco Jr. this week said the situation was handled extremely well by all of the officers working the scene. He said state police as well as the head of the Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council's swat team praised Medford's handling of the situation.

We couldn't agree more.

Medford residents should feel proud of the job police officers did handling Sunday afternoon's incident in North Medford. What could have potentially been a dangerous situation was handled skillfully, calmly and with the utmost respect and care for the public welfare.

Good job to all the officers involved!
 
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