Seven Elizabethtown police officers received a Distinguished Unit Citation for their work during a standoff in May in which a man barricaded himself in his Park Street home for four hours. Matthew Shull faces numerous charges in connection with the alleged incident.
Those receiving the honor were Lt. Joseph Ditzler, Corporal Gordon Berlin, Detective Clair Martin, Officer Timothy Wheal, Officer Michael Lyons, Officer Matthew Shuey and Officer Luann Pearson.
In a brief presentation, Mayor Chuck Mummert called the units efforts "the epitome of teamwork." He said all of them worked together to secure the area in the 300 block of Park Street and evacuate nearby residents after Officer Lysons witnessed Shull allegedly fire a 9mm handgun inside the home.
Officers called for assistance from the Lancaster County Special Emergency Response Team. Police Chief Jack Mentzer said the chief of the SERT team was thoroughly impressed with the Elizabethtown officers' efforts to gather intelligence throughout the incident. The officers were able to position themselves in ideal locations to view the scene and provide the SERT team with details to make their job easier. Detective Martin, who is a certified hostage negotiator, tapped those skills during the event.
"The officers did an outstanding job," Mentzer said.
He also noted that incidents such as this fortunately don't occur often in Elizabethtown, and "we try our darndest to make sure they don't."