Officer Brings Calm Resolution to a Hostile Situation
January 17, 2014
Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry honored a police officer who was instrumental in the de-escalation of a highly volatile situation. Officer Matthew Reeder of the Albuquerque Police Department was a stabilizing force in preventing harm to others when a man possessing a gun threatened suicide.
This past August, Sergeant Tom Henderson, Officer Keith Sheley and Officer Matthew Reeder were dispatched to a disturbance and were informed that an armed man was threatening to kill himself. The man’s daughter notified dispatch that her father had made similar threats in the past. This time was different because he had obtained a gun and was outside her apartment yelling and behaving erratically. When Sergeant Henderson, Officer Sheley and Officer Reeder arrived on scene, their first step was to establish a perimeter. Officer Reeder then began relaying verbal commands to the subject at which time the subject placed the gun in his own mouth. Officer Reeder left his position of cover to communicate with the upset individual in an attempt to calm him down. The man was growing increasingly angry and shouted at the police officers to leave. At that point, Officer Reeder found minimal concealment by a tree. As additional officers arrived on scene, Officer Reeder continued talking with the individual, building a rapport and earning his trust.
After some time more officers including SWAT and ERT personnel arrived on scene to secure the area and control the scene. All the while, Officer Reeder continued talking with the man for hours until he was finally able to convince him to lay down his weapon and surrender to the officers.
The three-hour negotiations had the potential to turn deadly, but Officer Reeder’s perseverance and calm demeanor helped bring stability to a tense and dangerous situation. Thanks to Officer Reeder, a peaceful resolution was achieved and no one was harmed.