Liberty officer honored for preventing suicide


LIBERTY — Capt. Toby Meloro of the Liberty Police Department was named Ohio’s 2009 Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year at the annual convention of the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in May.

Meloro was recognized for his handling of an incident June 10, 2008, in Liberty Township in which a man had locked himself in his garage with the intention of killing himself, according to a NAMI newsletter.

The man had lost his job, was on medication for depression, was having marital problems and was depressed about not being able to support his newborn baby.

Meloro, a negotiator for the Violent Crimes Task Force, began talking with the man, who held a shotgun under his chin for more than 90 minutes in his garage as Meloro talked to him.

The man, who eventually put down the weapon and was taken into custody, la- ter said he had intended to kill his wife and his child and have a shootout with police to end his own life, officers said.

The man has gotten mental-health treatment, is back with his wife and family and says he owes his life to the Liberty Police Department, the newsletter said.

CIT is an effort between law enforcement and the mental-health community to help law- enforcement officers handle incidents involving people with mental illness.

In Trumbull County, 95 police officers and 11 other professionals have received CIT training since February 2006.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.