Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 22, 2012

OUR VIEW: First responders prove their mettle

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Earlier this month, members from several law enforcement agencies swooped onto Campbell Boulevard where a man was believed to be holed up in his home after shooting his wife in the face. That situation ended with the discovery of the man’s body inside, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. A child in the home was not injured.

A terrible end to a terrible day. However, we’d like to take this time to commend Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour and his office for their first rate performance handling the situation.

From the moment the report came in to its unfortunate conclusion, a well-coordinated response took place. Half a dozen police agencies worked together to reach a common goal: get a child out of the house.

They succeeded. It didn’t matter that the man believed to be holed up inside was already dead. If the man had come out of the house shooting, law officials were ready because they had been strategically placed ahead of time to protect the public.

Behind the scenes, a Mercy Flight helicopter was on the ground standing by. A command center was established at a nearby intersection, where the media was kept informed.

It was clear that the department’s emergency management training paid off. Everyone knew their role and responded efficiently and professionally.

The events that unfolded Dec. 5 were also a stark reminder that domestic violence can happen anywhere and at any time. We’d like to remind readers that there are people available to help domestic violence victims. A good start is the Niagara County Domestic Violence Intervention Program, 438-3301 or the YWCA of Niagara County, based here in Lockport, 433-6176.

One can never be fully prepared for what life throws at us. But considering the events that took place last week in Connecticut, it’s reassuring to know that if a similar incident took place here we have well-trained, well-equipped personnel who will ably respond.