Somersworth Police used their skills this week to defuse a tense situation that very easily could have gone wrong.

After being notified about an individual "struggling with their mental health" who put a gun to their head and was threatening to take their own life, Dover Police's K9 joined the search, Police Chief Timothy McLin said in a statement.

The K9 successfully located the individual, who was holding a pistol on their chest and was intent on not leaving alive.

After nearly 90 minutes of discussion and using de-escalation techniques that showed compassion, care, empathy, and understanding, the individual allowed the officers to take them for help, according to the chief.

"The Somersworth Police is very proud of these officers for recognizing this situation as an opportunity for a new beginning and not a means to an end," McLin said in a statement. "We as an agency and as people are here to help you."

McLin did not disclose the individual's identity

If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988, New Hampshire Rapid Response at 833-710-6477 and or the Portsmouth Regional Hospital crisis-suicide hotline at 603-433-5370.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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