Hashim: a state trooper who de-escalates situations

BRATTLEBORO — I am the president of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C., a law firm in Brattleboro. Part of my practice is criminal defense, which means that I see a lot of material related to law-enforcement incidents in Windham County which isn't readily available to the public. That material includes video created by cruiser cameras when my clients interact with the Vermont State Police.

Particularly in Windham County, VSP represents us well and exhibits a high level of professionalism and respect, even though they deal with very difficult situations every day.

Each officer has a distinct way of addressing these problems. Some are friendly and conversational, others are stern, and others defy categorization. With experience, they seem to adopt a strategy that fits their personality and allows them to accomplish what they're trying to do.

From the first time I saw Nader Hashim's style, I liked it. A person he arrested was not being compliant and behaved in an aggressive way that could have easily escalated the encounter. But Nader made a careful effort to engage with them, and it became obvious that they were having a hard time dealing with their own issues, not trying to escape or start a fight.

He skillfully talked the person down, and eventually took them into custody safely, in a way that was so dignified that they actually thanked him from the back of the police cruiser and apologized.

It is readily apparent to me that Nader takes into consideration a person's background and treats each individual with respect and compassion. I have seen him act this way on several occasions and it makes me proud, because I like it when our law enforcement officers exceed their counterparts in some other jurisdictions. (And, by the way, they do so on a regular basis.)

I wholeheartedly support Nader's candidacy, and I would urge those who are curious about his profession to reach out to him and talk further about what he believes when it comes to community policing, as well as fair and impartial policing. I expect that they will share my opinion.

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