Medford Crisis Negotiation team continues to diffuse tough situations

MEDFORD, Ore. —Local police peacefully resolved in a brief standoff Monday night in south Medford. MPD says the situation ended with the suspect in handcuffs. Now we’re learning more about how MPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team diffuses these types of situations.

“Edward this is the Medford Police Department exit your residence now with your hands up,” said one officer.

Around 5:30 pm Monday, Medford police responded to the 1600 block of South Ivy Circle after they got a call from a woman who said her son came home and threatened to harm her. She said he had a gun and was going to use it. Police say the woman was able to leave the home safely. When police got there they set up a perimeter and started negotiating with the suspect 27-year-old Edward Valdez.

“Our job is to de-escalate situations and try and convince that person to give up or exit wherever they are at and resolve the situation in a peaceful manner,” said Team leader, officer Arturo Vega.

A member of MPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team was on the scene. Officer Vega has been part of the team for the last two and a half years. MPD’s 6-person team is made up of school resource officers, detectives, and livability officers, that specialize in de-escalating situations like barricaded suspects, people in crisis, and armed suspects.

“In the training, we learn a variety of different techniques on how to de-escalate situations, how to work with other teammates, the does and don’ts, and ultimately the goal is to prevent anyone from getting hurt and to minimize injury to others and eventually getting them to give up,” said officer Vega.

Officer Vega says he’s noticed an increase in calls for the team. Whether it’s for an hour or 8, he says the team will be there in time of need. Monday’s situation ultimately ended peacefully. MPD says Valdez tried to run from the area but was caught and taken into custody.

“You just never know, ultimately we’re gonna be there as long as it takes to hopefully get the person to comply with what they are telling me to do, and the end result being the situation gets resolved peacefully,” said officer Vega.

No one was hurt in the incident. Valdez is now in Jackson County Jail charged with menacing and unlawful possession of a firearm.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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