Belvoir’s Protective Services Battalion recognized Belvoir Military Police for outstanding efforts in locating and gaining the cooperation of a person of interest in a threatening situation with a DoD protectee, according to Lt. Col. Frank Pescatello, battalion commander.
The woman had been seen driving by and taking pictures of the defense secretary’s house on April 9, after sending threatening correspondence. Pescatello said leadership was wondering where she was, and how far to escalate the case.
After sending out a region-wide lookout, Lt. Dewitt Parker, a watch commander in the Belvoir Police Department Patrol Division, located the suspect sitting outside near the RV parking lot, a couple days later.
“Because of your efforts, we were able to find someone, get them out of proximity to our principal, and get her with the people she loves to provide some needed emotional and mental support,” said Pescatello.
CW2 Christopher Bombardiere, special agent with Protective Services’ Threat Management Unit, said the event was handled by the police with utmost care and speed.
“I want to say I worked with a lot of different agencies. You guys came through in a clutch and it was very appreciated by me and the personal security adviser from the Secretary of Defense. He wanted to extend his gratitude, as well,” Bombardiere said.
Bombardiere said his unit’s goal is to track potential threats and get their attention off the protected assets.
“A lot of the time, that means we try to assist their family, and get them treatment, so they can start to live a normal life again. We help them realize you can’t just approach these people or write threatening or inappropriate letters. So it’s a very tricky type of interview,” he said.
Pescatello noted during a coining ceremony behind the Belvoir Police Station that the team’s professionalism brought the case to an uneventful close.
“Thank you for your continued work; you’re outstanding professionals,” Pescatello told them. “You guys have such a great reputation here on Fort Belvoir, so thank you to the MP community for what you do.”