Regarding the shooting in Waterville of a man with a knife (“Waterville police officer fatally shoots ‘knife-wielding’ Hartland man on highway,” Feb. 12). Here is how it was described: “Officers located the man sitting on a guardrail still holding the knife,” Massey continued, in the release. “Attempts to persuade him to surrender were unsuccessful and an armed confrontation ensued, resulting in the man being fatally shot by a Waterville police officer.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if this was the story instead: “Officers located the man sitting on a guardrail still holding the knife,” Massey continued, in the release. “It was clear he was suffering from mental illness so the officer called the mental health branch of local public safety. The mental health expert spoke to the man at length and he eventually relinquished the knife and was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.”

This is not anti-police message by any means. Law enforcement desperately needs some support in this kind of situation. They are trained to deal with violent criminals accordingly but are left to do the best with they are trained to do.

Defunding the police is a stupid term. What it should mean is that the police deserve to have some support in dealing with people like the man who was shot.

 

Keith Taylor

Hallowell

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