When first responders multiply into overkill

Thesadtale about police overreaction to a troubled young man in Hingham is symptomatic of what I call the age of overkill (“Despite parents’ plea, police closed in, and a life was lost,’’ Page A1, July 16). It seems that whenever an emergency of any type occurs, authorities often feel compelled to respond with maximum force.

When I called for an ambulance for my elderly father, who was confused and mumbling, police, firefighters, and EMTs were soon storming his apartment as if it was D-Day, when all that was needed was a couple of EMTs. When an elderly neighbor was feeling a little woozy and called for an ambulance, three vehicles, including a big fire truck, and seven or eight first responders showed up at her door.

I think there’s a connection between this and the situation in Hingham. The latter was much more fraught, but a lighter touch than a SWAT team was obviously in order. First responders have a tough job, but some common sense would go a long way. Less is often more.

Henry Stimpson