Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant sent out the following press release/information today (Aug. 5) regarding an incident early this morning in Andover.  Deputies Josh Aylward, Nathan Bowie and Steve Witham received a letter of commendation, which follows Gallant’s comments.

“I am proud of the professionalism displayed daily by the deputies and correction officers of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and other  police officers around this county and state,”  said Gallant. “A similar call like the one we responded to early this morning could have resulted in a serious injury or the loss of life. That did not happen. Instead three deputies went home to their families and a troubled individual’s life did not end. The individual was  not injured and was successfully  brought to  medical and mental health professionals.”


Letter of Commendation

Early this morning the three of you responded to a very serious call in the Town of Andover. An individual had made threats to kill any police officers who arrived at the residence she was at and after she killed the law enforcement officers she was planning on taking her own life.

Upon arriving you did observe a female in serious mental health crisis holding a large steak knife against her throat. The female stated she would kill anyone who came close to her and that she planned on taking her life.

I want to commend you for a job well done. Your actions this morning saved the life of a troubled individual. Your professionalism, your patience and your abilities to communicate with and distract this distraught individual definitely saved her life.

In many cases a scenario like the one you were faced with would have resulted in an officer involved shooting or a self-inflicted injury or death by the individual in the mental health crisis. Through the professional actions of the three of you a potential deadly situation was averted with excellent communication skills, a team approach strategy and a successful deployment of a Taser.

Sheriff Wayne Gallant

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