Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 9, 1974 · Page 187
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 187

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 9, 1974
Page 187
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Page 187 article text (OCR)

FAMHYF1CHT CONTINUED recruits go out on field-trip interventions with veterans. In action, police follow certain ground rules. ;r ^We try not to be judgmental or authoritarian," says Lt. Oney. "No preaching to people or patronizing them. Pushing and shouting are out. We don't tell a family how to live, though we offer recommendations. Hopefully, the family will make their own decisions afterwe hear both sides and mediate. Whenever possible, our officers try to come up with some kind of resolution." Decisions have taken dive^e forms. One night a few months ago a Mrs. K. frantically phoned the police. Having tear-gassed her husband with Mace, she was sure he was about to shoot her. "I know Jack has a gun!" Speeding to their house, Sgt. Parsons and his partner found the couple at bay, in effect awaiting rescue. First, a precaution First, an old gun--unloaded--was removed from a desk. Then, during gentle ' 'fiour-long questioning, Mrs. K., a heavyset woman, accused her spouse of having an affair with a young neighbor, but couldn't pin down proof. In turn, Jack reasonably explained what had appeared to be intimacies with the friendly neighbor. Following police department procedure, Sgt. Parsons asked the couple what solution they proposed. With a deep sigh, Mrs. K replied: "All right, we're going to bed »aow and work out pur problems there. Thanks, officers, for coming." The police never had a call from them again. The right attitudes, techniques and stratagems go far in calming family strife. Louisville cops know they should use compassion, show consideration and respect for the troubled. An officer may comment, "We have bad days, too." *-"ln most instances," Lt. Oney points out, "our uniform and relaxed attitude have a cooling impact. But if that i doesn't affect an uptight member of the · family, we get him--or her--to sit ' down. It's hard to argue sitting down. ' Or, to break the tension, I've asked, 'Can I bother you for a cup of coffee?' "Most of our officers have learned to accept verbal abuse as a way people have of defusing their anger, indignation or frustrations. Their hostility may be switched to us, and it could be with a knife or gun. But often a bad-mouther will apologize later because you let him yell his head 'off. "When we go into a home we make it clear we're there to help, not to lock Prime time for Crisis Intervention begins after 6 p.m. when the husband returns from work. In more than half the cases, someone has had too much to drink. Many fights erupt over money, alienation of generations, jealousy. Crises run the gamut: threatened suicides, parental opposition to a teenager's drug abuse, intense sibling es you more of a hammeifFree plans prove it Is a hammer just a hammer? No way! Take this butcher-block table for instance, where you've got a lot of 8 penny nails to drive in. Your arm will tell you, right away, that you'd better use a quality hammer-a Stanley. You see, Stanley makes 'hammers with better balance and heft. Which means you're able to drive those nails in fast and easy. And on the mark. And you TABLE won't end up with a tired, shaky arm or a sore, tingling grip. Along v with a better design, Stanley gives its hammers a rim tempered face. That's a feature no other hammer has. In case you strike a foul blow, there's less chance of a steel chip to By up at you. (Of course, you should always wear safety glasses anytime you use any striking tool.) Find a store with a good tool department, youll find Stanley hammers. Look at them. hammers. Quality you know will help you do things right As for the butcher-block table and benches, you can put them together for around $60 in materials. And youll have a lot of pleasure doing it To get the free plan, send your name and address, plus 200 to cover postage, to Stanley Tools, Dept P2, New Britain, Conn. 06050. STANLEY I helps you dp things right Heft them. Youll see that Stanley packs a lot of quality into its anyone up. Unless there's an obvious villain--like a guy stabbing someone-arrest is the last thing mentioned. We prefer alternatives to jail, like referrals for professional counseling." Rarely do the police resort to force and not once have they had to draw their guns. Nightsticks are usually left in the patrol car. rivalries. Highly charged emotionally, adversaries may go after each other with hammers, pipes, or baseball bats, throw bottles, or anything in sight. Faced with clashing couples, novice cops assume the husband is generally to blame. Not so, Lt. Oney contends. "We've learned it's apt to be the fault of both parties. In fact, in many cases the wife triggers the problem." Adds Judge John George of the Louisville Domestic Relations Court: "Often she's a shrew, terribly sharp-tongued, and you can't blame the man." While most calls come from working- class neighborhoods, the police have also been summoned to homes of lawyers, doctors, newspaper reporters and even a former judge. One family hassle broke out when a lawyer came home two hours late for dinner. When the police arrived, his wife screamed, "This was supposed to be our wedding anniversary and he's messed it up. I want a divorce." A quarrel, a threat In more serious situations, lives have been saved. Not long ago, Warren T., a 26- year-old salesman, barricaded himself in his apartment with a loaded rifle. He had had a bitter quarrel with his parents over the burning of their lake cabin. "If the cops try to rush the door," he yelled to a friend, "I'll kill as many pigs as I can, then shoot myself." After five police cars sped to the scene, Jim Oney took over. Phoning Warren from an upstairs apartment, he used C.I. tactics to learn that Warren was enrolled in a night course in sociology-one that Oney himself had taken. That opened lines of communication and the lieutenant soon understood why the young man was enraged at his family. Gradually, Oney persuaded him to place the rifle outside his door. Then Warren let the officer take him to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. At times the police assume the role of lonely hearts adviser. There was, for instance, the furious young and luscious wife who started to pack her clothes to go back to her mother, generating a terrific argument. The cops who responded to the crisis call got her, for the first time, to express the underlying cause of the" friction. Having bought a new sports" car, her mate of six months was spending all his-- free time sprucing it up. Leading him to a corner, one officer remarked: "If you can make love to your car, do you need your beautiful wife?" The fractured marriage mended that night. Thus far, Louisville's Cl.-trained police have stepped into more than 1200 family crises and not even one cop has been attacked as an intruder. After the initial experiment with the 12-man C.I. 16

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