We watch on television each week as one TV cop after another defuses a tense situation and brings about a happy ending.
Just such a made-for-TV drama unfolded in Garner on Halloween night when Officer Grant Davis convinced a man to leave a ledge on the side of a bridge and return to safety.
It’s a remarkable feat and one that Davis and his peers should be happy about.
But there can be no doubt that Davis’ successful effort was the result of good training and an attentive police officer who was ready, when called upon, to put into practice the things that he learned.
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Davis stayed with the man perched on the edge of the F. Donald Rohrbaugh Bridge for some time – explaining that the man had better options that letting himself fall of the side of the bridge.
That must surely have been a tense time for everyone involved. Davis’ professionalism in the face of such tension is a big reason why the man is still alive.
It’s easy enough to get caught up in the drama of a television incident. But the truth is, in real life those things happen outside the public view. We don’t get to see the happy resolution at the end. But when we learn just what Davis, or others on the Garner Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation team encountered and what they did, we should celebrate.
Far too often, those efforts don’t end well despite everything an officer can do. That’s a hazard of the job if you want to be a police officer.
But in this case, it was a victory for that officer. It was a victory for the man whose life he saved. But most of all, it was a victory for that man’s family who can now sit around the dinner table with their loved one instead of mourning his passing.