LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Six Laurel police officers were recognized during a Laurel City Council meeting on Tuesday where Mayor Johnny Magee presented each of them with a certificate of commendation.
The officers were recognized for their part in an incident that took place in January that involved shots being fired from an individual that had barricaded himself in his residence.
On Friday, January 22, shortly after midnight, Officer John Stringer, Joel Brogan, Robert Wright, Stephen Graessar, Joe Berlin and Joey Decuir were dispatch to the residence in regards to those shots being fired. Recent incidents reminded the officers that this residence was the home of an individual who appeared to be suffering from a mental disorder and displayed an extreme propensity for violence.
The officers took up positions near the property and began to take commands from the senior leadership on the scene, Sergeant Joe Berlin and Joey Decuir. After discovering that the suspect, who was heavily armed, had barricaded himself inside his residence, the officers took up strategic points near the property.
It was at that point that Sergeant Berlin, having no formal training and hostage negotiating, was able to convince the suspect to surrender peaceably. These officers patience and willingness to rely on their training, aided in the diffusion of the situation.
As a result of their actions, the residents including the shooter, was the focus of maintaining safety and security in the city of Laurel.