Officer's compassion the saving grace A moment of kindness quickly sees its reward.

April 17, 1992|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

Police Officer Alayne J. Liberman, assigned to Baltimore County's Woodlawn precinct, might not be a gambler, but she knows when to call in her chits.

It all started with a moment of kindness concerning a deli sandwich.

On April 6, Officer Liberman was called to help talk a distraught man down from atop a 35-foot high perch on a sign overlooking Liberty Road near the Beltway. Once she arrived, she had no trouble recognizing him.

She had befriended the man just the day before in an area delicatessen when she chose to take a ready-made sandwich rather than have him prepare one because he looked "so tired."

"I owe you one," he told her as she left the deli.

Now it was payback time.

As homeward bound afternoon rush-hour traffic backed up on Liberty Road and the Beltway, Officer Liberman, 27, who has been on the force two years, reminded him of his comment.

In less than a hour, she persuaded the man to leave his perch above Liberty Road.

Officer Liberman declined to talk about the incident, but one of her commanders was happy to speak about her.

"She did a heckuva job," said Lt. Kevin J. Flaherty.

"She was trying to show the guy that she indeed cared. She wanted to establish credibility by using that as a building block. She told him 'Look, if I didn't care, I wouldn't have just taken something out of the deli counter.'

Lieutenant Flaherty said police were concerned the man would fall on the highway and injure himself or be struck by a car.

"She has only been on the job a short time," he said, "but she showed a lot of compassion in helping that man over his crisis."

As a result, the lieutenant is recommending Officer Liberman for a departmental commendation.

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