A section of Farmington’s Charleswood neighborhood was blocked off to traffic for several hours Tuesday as police attempted to get an emotionally disturbed man to exit his home safely.
The standoff started just after 10 a.m., Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist said, after the Dakota County Crisis Response Unit received a call asking for someone to check on the man. The CRU is in place to provide phone and face-to-face crisis intervention and to ensure safety for the client, the family and the community.
The man, who is in his 50s, has had some recent emotional problems. When police arrived at the home, they found the man’s wife and the CRU social worker outside the home, but the man was still inside.
Because he only had three squads immediately available in Farmington, Lindquist opted to call in the Dakota County Multi-Agency Assistance Group. The MAAG team consists of officers from all of the communities in Dakota County. Officers on the MAAG team are trained to enter buildings and extract suspects when necessary.
In this instance, Lindquist felt it was better to utilize the MAAG team and minimize the chances for anyone to get hurt.
“You’re not looking to move fast on things like this. You have to proceed with due care and caution,” he said. “The MAAG team arrives. They train for incidents like this. They can handle something smaller scale like this, all the way up to an active shooter.”
Ultimately, Lindquist said, the MAAG team was able to get to the man and get him to leave the house unharmed. The man was transported by medics to a hospital, where he could be medically evaluated.
Lindquist knows that the response of the MAAG team and other emergency units — ambulances and the Burnsville Mobile Incident Command Unit, for instance — made the incident look more serious than it was. But, he said, it is better to be prepared when addressing incidents such as this.
“We plan for the worst, and hope for the best. We always suspect that it could be a worst case scenario. Fortunately in this case, and in most cases, it is not. But we want to be prepared all the same,” he said.
Lindquist talked with staff at the nearby Meadowview Elementary School early in the afternoon. As he had no way of telling how long the standoff would go, he advised school administration to hold the buses that carried students to the Evensong Avenue neighborhood until the area was cleared.
Police cleared the area before 3 p.m., Lindquist said. Officers and all emergency personnel were gone from the area before student from Farmington High School came to the area, and long before the MVES buses left the school.