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Tonawanda Police to Hold Meetings, Critiques, Following Fries Rd. Incident

Tonawanda, NY (WBEN) Tonawanda Police are continuing to sift through the rubble of Joe Hollywood's Freis Road home, and are beginning to deal  with the aftermath of the siege and the recovery of his burnt remains there.

Police in the town of Tonawanda are planning on holding post-incident meetings and critiques. Some officers may have trouble coping with what they dealt with Monday.

Police say Hollywood set his house on fire Monday after making threats to kill his girlfriend. The possibility of weapons in his house led to a day long standoff with police and fire officials ultimately letting the house burn while the SWAT team stood by.

The review of the incident will focus on a couple of factors says UB's Prof. John Violanti, a former state trooper.


Tonawanda  Police say Hollywood was found dead in the basement of the Tonawanda home he set ablaze, with  an oxygen tank and a long gun, in apparent position to open fire on police or fire officials who came near.

Hollywood's body was found inside the home near 5 pm Monday, after a daylong siege involving police and fire crews.

" Investigators believe he was positioned where he was so that he could engage any police that came in looking for him, "Tonawanda police said in a prepared statement released Tuesday morning.

RELATED: More on Hollywood's plans |
Standoff Ends, Remains Found | On Scene Pictures

"What these things are for are to defuse emotional trauma the officers may have gone through, whether it's not knowing what was going on or discovering the remains and dealing with that as well," explains Violanti, a professor in the Dept. of Social and Preventative Medicine, and a former coordinator of the State Police's Employee Assistance Program,

"They'll talk about post trauma stress and what the symptoms are and what are symptoms are not as well."

Violanti says the worst part of the incident will be a topic of conversation during a group debriefing.

"If there are certain officers having emotional difficulties, they'll be followed up and sent to psychologists for further evaluation," says Violanti, who adds such issues are normally cleared up within a month. "You can as hard as you want as a police officer, but officers are human like everyone else, and emotions and psychological trauma can affect them," says Violanti.

Though police call the incident critiques, Violanti says don't expect a lot of talk about the logistics of Monday's incident.

The incident sparked a lockdown at nearby Kenmore Tonawanda schools, and had police instruct neighbors to remain out of sight, in their basements to avoid any danger.   Fire crews did not intervene to put out the blaze, for fear that Hollywood was armed.

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Locations : Tonawanda
People : John ViolantiJoseph Hollywood
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