Even off duty, New Jersey law enforcement members need to stay alert. Most cops will tell you that situational awareness is critical, no matter where they are.

Last week a New Jersey State Trooper, Detective Sgt. Michael Nelson, was in the parking lot of a Dunkin' Donuts in Freehold where two men were arguing.

The trooper reportedly saw one of the man pull a knife. Trooper Nelson did not hesitate, as so many law enforcement professionals do every day. He got out of his car and made his way into the altercation, confronting the knife-wielding man.

The guy went back to his car and Nelson went after him, disarming him without further incident. Local Freehold cops arrived to take the suspect into custody.

Couple of takeaways here.

First, despite the false narrative pushed by so many in the media, cops are trained to de-escalate and stop violence from occurring. In this case, had the trooper not acted or delayed by calling in local law enforcement to handle the situation, who knows what could have happened.

Clearly when someone pulls out a knife in a threatening way, the potential for violence leading to injury or death is present. Detective Sgt. Nelson disregarded the potential threat to his own safety and acted heroically to stop a bad situation from getting worse.

Thank you Detective Sgt. Michael Nelson for your courage and professionalism. You are a great example of what it means to be a New Jersey State Trooper.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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