Police officers’ restraint was the safest move

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Farmington officers Shane Cote and Ed Hastings deserve a tip of the hat.

Instead of escalating what could have been a fatal situation involving an out-of-control driver Saturday and making it worse, Cote and Hastings used a tactic too often overlooked in police work – restraint.

The two, called out to check an erratic driving complaint, attempted to pull over a driver who simply didn’t want to cooperate. Rather than use force, the officers followed the driver as he navigated local streets, tore up the lawn at the county jail and sped along Route 27. They watched and followed as the driver tossed beer cans out the window along the journey.

The driver stopped suddenly several times, and police stopped with him each time without aggravating him. The officers, with help from their co-workers, eventually set spikes on the road to stop the van. The driver was arrested without incident.

Cops in Maine have their work cut out for them. They deal daily with similar ridiculous and potentially dangerous situations. This is one we know of.

It’s a case in which a pair of police officers used reason and compassion to stop a suspect and keep a city safe at the same time. Unfortunately, it can’t always go this way.

In the heat of the moment, which ultimately included a brief chase, the officers maintained public safety. We hope the driver benefits from their professionalism. Farmington already has.

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