TV shows and movies tend to offer a pretty dramatic portrayal of life in a City Police uniform — and it’s true that serious crime is always only one 911 call away — but from what I see our officers involved in on a daily basis, I think that Hollywood image sells the profession short.
Public safety is so much more than hostage situations and murder mysteries. Thankfully those incidents are far and few between but everything in between is no less important or meaningful to the people that need our help.
In reading Chief Lee’s Police activity report for this week I was impressed by the range of actions taken by our Officers and Dispatchers — from catching the cliché “purse snatcher,” to saving a life over the phone, and going the extra mile to help a stranded resident.
These were great examples of the things big and small that our Police Officers do every day but may not make the headlines or TV shows.
Recognition was given to three day shift officers this week for their investigation and apprehension of a Robbery suspect. The purse snatching occurred in the University Plaza of an elderly lady who was knocked down during the offense. Sgt. Short and Officers Berkey and Fleming investigated and apprehended the fleeing suspect. Great police work was achieved through great team work!
[As a lead in to the next story it’s worth noting that just recently the Kent Fire Department came up with the idea of giving the Dispatchers special training in CPR techniques so that they could give directions over the phone while the emergency responders were in-route to the call. Since the training the Dispatchers have helped save 2-3 lives.]
On Tues. Dispatcher Brown took a 9-1-1 call for an 82 year old male who’d recently been in the hospital, had collapsed and was not breathing. The victim’s wife called while the victim’s daughter was present and attending to him. Dispatcher Brown immediately took control of the situation by getting the daughter on the phone & directing her to perform hands-only CPR. Dispatcher Jacobs immediately jumped in to take over radio dispatching duties for the call. Dispatcher Brown corrected the daughter’s mistakes, kept her on task and was encouraging when she began to give up hope, got tired and broke down emotionally, urging her to continue the CPR until the paramedics arrived. Shortly before the medics did arrive, the victim began breathing again on his own. Dispatcher Brown took little credit and congratulated the daughter for bringing her father back. Dispatcher Brown is to be commended for her calm, professional reaction to the call, for her perseverance, and for the care and concern she demonstrated for the caller in helping to save a life. Likewise, Dispatcher Jacobs should also be recognized for her demonstration of teamwork and professionalism in helping to ensure this most positive of outcomes. We’ve had dispatchers perform Dispatch-aided CPR several times since we adopted it. While this particular save is noteworthy because a victim was brought back prior to the medics arriving I want to recognize the other dispatchers who have provided this service on past calls. They are stressful and emotionally draining yet dispatchers persevere through it as true law enforcement communications professionals can. Thank you for providing this life saving service!
Last but not least, Dispatcher Sadowski took a call from a stranded motorist who was waiting three hours for AAA towing service for a jump start. Since Officers don’t provide that service, Dispatcher Sadowski took it upon herself, with jumper cables at the ready, to help the motorist on her lunch hour. That is truly a display of public/community service!