Brooklyn Park Officer Honored for Saving Child During Hostage Crisis
A Brooklyn Park police officer was recently given a special honor for saving a child’s life during a hostage crisis.
Officer Andrew Tolbert served as a crisis negotiator after he learned an armed burglary suspect was holding a 7-year-old boy hostage in a home on the 7500 block of 83rd Avenue N. The incident happened Jan. 14 of last year.
According to the police report:
Brooklyn Park officers were called to the area on a report of two men “prowling the neighborhood.” When patrol officers arrived, they saw four children in the street trying to flag them down. The children told police that an unknown man broke into their home and was still inside with their 7-year-old brother.
Police entered the home and came upon a locked bedroom door. They learned the man was inside the room armed with a gun holding the 7-year-old hostage.
Brooklyn Park SWAT and crisis negotiators responded. Officer Tolbert was able to establish a rapport with the suspect from outside a door. After an hour of negotiating, he successfully arranged for the release of the child unharmed.
For his efforts, Tolbert was named “Negotiator of the Year” by the Special Operations Training Association.
“Officer Tolbert risked his own safety by continuously negotiating with the armed gunman for the release of the child,” read a statement provided by the Brooklyn Park Police Department.
The incident did have an unfortunate ending. The suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound despite several additional hours of negotiating in an attempt to get him to surrender peacefully.