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Celebrating 15 cops who saved lives in 2014

If you are one of the many officers who have used these your tools and training to save a life in 2014, please consider yourself one of the many Knights of Christmas

Every year we at Police1 celebrate the ‘Knights Christmas’ — cops who have given many people the ability to enjoy Christmas and the coming year because of their life-saving actions.

Some of the incidents below would have been vastly different only a few years ago, because officers responding back then likely would have lacked the equipment and training which today is at the fingertips of first responding officers.

If you are a chief or sheriff who has innovative products and training tools such as Narcan, less lethal munitions, cutting-edge emergency medical care equipment, and the necessary training for your officers and tactical teams, you should also be commended. In doing so, you dismissed concerns of costs, liability, and accusations of over-militarization in favor of allowing officers to have and use life-saving tools.

Med Kit Use
Dallas Police Officers Salvador Varillas and Josh Burns arrived at a disturbance, when they were fired upon by Rakeen Perkins. After engaging Perkins in a gun battle, he was taken into custody with a bullet wound to his leg. During the armed engagement, Perkins shot Officer Burns in the vest, the shoulder, and the leg, from which he was bleeding profusely. His fellow Officers deployed their recently-issued downed officer medical kit, saving both Perkins and Officer Burns.

Like a Ninja
Jenon Wehby slipped at her birthday celebration and fell on some broken glass. The bleeding was so severe it was life-threatening. Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Nick Rollins spotted the emergency and hurried to aid the woman. Her husband later said the officer suddenly arrived on scene “like a ninja.” He sprang into action and stopped the bleeding with his personal downed officer medical kit, and according to the ER doctors — as well as Jenon’s husband — saved the mother of two.

Life-Saving Tourniquet
Officer Damien Lookenbill responded to a ‘shots fired’ call in Dallas. Once he arrived at the scene he discovered Joseph Garcia in a great deal of pain, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the leg. Garcia was losing blood fast due to arterial bleeding and quick-thinking Officer Lookenbill deployed his tourniquet from his downed officer medical kit. The tourniquet stopped the bleeding, saving Garcia’s life.

Life-Saving Intuition
Military Police Officer Harry Nixon was on patrol of his base at the U.S. Army Garrison at Rhineland-Pfalz and while doing a routine security check, he noticed a man in a bright orange coat on a bicycle. Something looked unhealthy about the man as he pedaled along the road so after completing his check, Nixon decided to check on the man once again, only to discover he’d disappeared. Nixon got out on foot and after checking around, found the man off the road in the throes of severe insulin shock. He summoned a German ambulance and the resident was saved.

Life-Saving Love
Pittsburg (Pa.) Detective Jack Mook saved a couple of lives this year in a very unique way. Two years ago, Detective Mook rescued two young boys from an abusive foster home, and this year, Mook — who is a committed bachelor, police detective, and boxing coach — adopted the two brothers. The boys will be enjoying Christmas 2014 with the best friend a boy can ever have: a caring dad.

Peel-and-Stick Chest Seal
When Officers Adam Moen and Corey Schmidt answered a call of a stabbing on 5th Street in Minneapolis near the Nicolet Mall, they discovered a man who was viciously stabbed after declining a 14-year-old girl’s request for a cigarette. The wound most likely would have been fatal, but the officers quickly applied their HyFin peel-and-stick chest seal. Having the chest seal and knowing how and when to use it saved the man’s life.

Combining Equipment and Training
Steven Meeks — exhibiting symptoms of excited-delirium — entered a Walgreens in La Crosse, Wisconsin brandishing a knife and proclaiming he was going to “die today.” When he advanced on Officer Brian Deyo, Deyo fired a Super Sock into the suspect’s stomach with an 870 shotgun. When the SWAT team’s negotiators arrived, they began communicating with Meeks, who was still armed, but now wearing nothing but a layer of sweat. Lieutenant Avrie Schott and Officer Robert Wieczorek then used their SWAT negotiation training to convince Meeks to give up, offering him a McDonald’s cheeseburger with fries.

Narcan to the Rescue
Sergeant Kevin Schackleton, Detective Walter Merfert, and Officers Miguel Acabou and Sergio D’Andrea of the Clark (N.J.) Police Department arrived at a Target Department Store to find a 35-year-old man unconscious and barely breathing. Officer Acabou administered one dose of Narcan, which brought the individual back from the brink of death. Schackleton assisted the man with a bag-mask until he was able to breathe on his own. Hundreds of times around the nation this year police officers have saved the lives of people, who fall victims to their own vices, with this effective nasal-spray.

Closing Thoughts
As we wrap up the year 2014, I would like to remind you to wear your vest, your seat belt, drive with care, and wait for back-up when needed in 2015. The life you save may be your own.

Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou’s awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. Additional awards Lt. Marcou received were 15 departmental citations (his department’s highest award), two Chief’s Superior Achievement Awards and the Distinguished Service Medal for his response to an active shooter. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,” which is now available. His novels, “The Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,” “SWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,” “Nobody’s Heroes” and Destiny of Heroes,” as well as his latest non-fiction offering, “Law Dogs, Great Cops in American History,” are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.

“I heard [my father’s] stories growing up and saw how much impact it had … I wanted the same thing,” Officer Calyn Dausch said
“I wanted to tell (Joel) ‘Thank you’ and that I appreciated the painting,” K-9 Rico’s handler Special Agent Richard Hunton said
Detectives Sean Stumpf and Mike Slatcoff were honored for their actions during a manhunt for the fugitive who killed Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire
A mural was painted in the officers’ honor by American painter Steve Penley