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Training credited in standoff situation
Incident was second in less than a month
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Forsyth County News
Authorities were quick to credit training for the peaceful resolution of a five-hour standoff Sunday in a northern Forsyth County neighborhood.

“It ended peacefully, which is how we always want them to end, without anyone being harmed,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins.

“It was an excellent job by our negotiators to be able to speak with him and convince him not to harm himself.”

The incident began about 4:20 p.m. after a resident of High Gables West off Holtzclaw Road reported a neighbor had threatened to harm himself.
Huggins said deputies found a 64-year-old man sitting on a swing in his backyard with a handgun.

“At no time did he threaten any family members or any of our deputies,” Huggins said of the man, whose name has not been released.

Emergency medical personnel and the sheriff’s SWAT team were called in for the standoff, which ended about 9:45 p.m.

Huggins said access to the neighborhood was blocked until authorities were in place.

“Some of the families that live in that immediate area were inconvenienced for a short period of time,” he said. “Then we opened up the street for normal traffic except in the immediate area of our scene.”

The standoff was the second in less than a month for the sheriff’s office.

On May 13, the SWAT team responded to a house in the Riverbrooke subdivision of south Forsyth, where a man had barricaded himself inside a closet after attempting to take a hostage.

The man was taken into custody after about two hours.

Sheriff Ted Paxton credited extensive SWAT and negotiator training for the peaceful resolution of both incidents.

“That’s our goal when these situations come up that they end peacefully and nobody gets hurt,” Paxton said.

Every situation is different, he said, and authorities have to rely on their training and experience to guide them through.

“It certainly takes more specialized training than a regular deputy would have, so it pays off,” the sheriff said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

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