The Elizabethtown Police Department Special Response Team and Crisis Negotiation Team would have made legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden proud last Sunday.
It was Wooden, who quipped on numerous occasions, this phrase: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
EPD’s SRT and CNT units train and prepare a long time for a “what-if” situation.
The “what if” occurred Sunday when an Elizabethtown man, armed with multiple weapons including a crossbow, barricaded himself in a two-story building on South Miles Street.
Through the efforts of the two EPD units and help from several other agencies, a potentially volatile standoff between David Cooke and law enforcement was settled without anyone being injured. Cooke has been charged with multiple felonies related to the events of the day, including a reported assault on a woman and the attempted murder of a police officer when he is alleged to have fired an arrow at the officer, grazing a concrete area where they were located.
Through training and practice, the negotiation team managed to have Cooke give himself up without causing harm to himself or others.
You never know if training will actually work until you are faced with a situation such as the one that developed Sunday that led to Cooke barricading himself for about nine hours.
That nobody was injured, including Cooke, is a testament to the fine work by the department and their support system Sunday.
The training and commitment paid off. Imagine if these dedicated officers hadn’t trained for a circumstance such as this one? A potentially dangerous situation could have escalated quickly.
The EPD units responded admirably under trying circumstances.
In a time where police aren’t viewed favorably by some in the United States because of the actions of some officers, the Special Response Team and Crisis Negotiation Team of EPD displayed patience and composure and settled the standoff ideally.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and Wooden would have been proud to see those words put to such good use. Our community also should be proud and support the fine men and women who protect and serve in Elizabethtown, and around Hardin County, every day of the year.
This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.