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Monty Leaders Commend 4 Police Officers for Using Their Words, Not Their Guns, During a Crisis

By Barbara A. Preston | March 17, 2022

It is important to recognize and honor police officers for a job well done under pressure.

Montgomery Township Committee recently commended four officers who responded to an adolescent in crisis who was wielding a knife on January 13. The officers spent two hours, slowly building a rapport, and ultimately convinced the teenager to peacefully relinquished the knife.

Acting Sergeant Daniel Balinski with officers Salvatore Intili, John Colucci, and Connor Chapkowski worked cooperatively with the teen and the family. They convinced them to voluntarily seek medical help.

From left: Mayor Devra Keenan, Deputy Mayor Shelly Bell, Montgomery police officers Daniel Balinski, Salvatore Intili, John Colucci, and Connor Chapkowski; and township committee members Neena Singh and Kent Huang.

Township committee presented the officers with framed resolutions, and heartfelt words of praise for their patience, professionalism, and honorable service. Police Director Jim Gill thanked the township leaders for recognizing the officers it its February 17 committee meeting.

Gill also thanked the officers for doing a fine job.“When a crisis occurs, we truly see our officers and what they do,” Gill said. “This is a prime example of that. The outcome was blessed for all. I’m grateful for the officers we work with.”

De-escalation Training

New Jersey is the first state to require that every officer take a de-escalation course. The course provides first responders/ police officers with the tools, verbal skills, and options they need to successfully and safely defuse a range of critical incidents. As of 2021, NJ police officers also have to take a class on how to stop colleagues from making grievous mistakes.

Lt. Silvio Bet told The Montgomery News that Montgomery police officers have participated in a the de-escalation training program. “All our officers attended the two-day training,” he said, noting each day took 8 to 10 hours. He said the training was valuable during the recent crisis.

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The training requirements are part the NJ Attorney General Office’s revision to the statewide “Use of Force Policy,” which overhauled the responsibilities of law enforcement officers when interacting with civilians, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Unfortunately, the NJ Attorney General’s office is investigating two separate recent incidents, one in Hillsborough (Hillsborough Police Ordered a Man to Drop His Sword before Fatally Shooting Him, Audio Recorded -, January 25, 2022) and the other in Plainsboro, ( AG’s Office Investigating Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Plainsboro), in which officers shot and killed men holding knifes (or a sword in one incident).


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