Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Police End Barricade Peacefully

On June 4, police were alerted to a person in distress in an apartment building in Potomac Yard that ended without incident thanks to a professional, measured, well-trained response from the officers of the Alexandria Police and Sheriff’s Departments, as well as assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department. Although shots were fired at responding police officers, there was no return fire from these officers. Instead, they showed considerable restraint and patience during the 20-hour barricade situation, focusing on deescalating the situation and waiting until the individual fell asleep before making entry into her apartment and taking her into custody without harm to her, the officers, or other residents of the building.

The police officers also took great care during the barricade situation to ensure the safety of other citizens, through securing the scene and continued communication with the public, including instructions to shelter in place for those in the building and assistance to those residents who were out of the building when the incident began.

As members of the Alexandria Police Foundation, we want to commend the Alexandria Police and Sheriff’s departments along with other participating law enforcement agencies for serving and protecting our citizens honorably and professionally, as reflected in this standoff that involved shots fired at our police officers without similar retaliation. Such a response by law enforcement and the peaceful outcome to a very tense situation seems unusual in this current climate but gives further credence to the excellent straining and leadership exemplified by responding Alexandria Police officers that cannot go unnoticed. The first officers on scene set the tone for all responding units, which allowed them to successfully mitigate the crisis and restore public safety. For your bravery, for your professionalism, and for your compassion, we applaud you. You, like we, are sons, daughters, spouses, moms and dads.

The Alexandria Police Foundation takes great pride in its relationship with the Alexandria Police Department and our Chief Michael Brown. We also appreciate our Sheriff, Dana Lawhorne and the Alexandria Sheriff’s department, who work hand in glove with the Police Department 24/7/365 to ensure the safety of our residents. We are grateful for their service and continue to expect to see strong leadership, transparency and accountability from these two leaders and the men and women who serve with them in the future. The peaceful resolution of this barricade situation without return fire by police is a tribute to these attending departments and something that should make the citizens of Alexandria proud.

Anne Rector, Chair, with Willem Polak, Past Chair; Charlotte Hall, Vice Chair; Janet Barnett, Secretary; Michael McMillan, Treasurer; David Baker, Kendra Carey, Michele Evans, Adnan Hamidi, Gordon Kromberg, Pat Miller, Roger Parks, Cathy Puskar, Roger Smith, Jeanne Theismann, Ginny Obranovich, Richard Obranovich

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