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In February, two men attempted to rob a home in south Eugene. In a complex sequence of events, one of the suspects was shot and killed by a resident of the home. The other thought he could avoid arrest by hiding in a wooded area south of 30th Avenue.
For a few minutes, he escaped detection. Successfully camouflaging himself behind some brush, police officers say he was completely hidden from view.
But unbeknownst to the suspect, his smell made him easy to find by a different officer — one known simply as Bronko.
More than 300 motorcyclists from across Oregon converged on the Sweet Home Police Department on Saturday morning, a pit stop on a 248-mile ride in memory of Chris Kilcullen, a Eugene police officer who was killed April 22 in the line of duty.
Kilcullen’s badge number was 248, Springfield police officer Brian Antonen said.
“Originally, I thought we’d get a few guys together and raise a couple hundred bucks for his family,” Antonen said. “It kind of exploded.”
The ride started in Eugene, stopped in Sweet Home, proceeded on to Sisters and returned to Springfield on Highway 126, where riders had the opportunity to pay their respects at Kilcullen’s roadside memorial.
More than a dozen police officers were recognized by the Homewood Police Department this week for their efforts in fighting crime.
Officer Justin Self received the Distinguished Service Award, which is given to an officer for an exceptional act and for demonstrating bravery in an extremely dangerous situation. Self was honored for his work in arresting a home invasion and carjacking suspect in 2009. Though the suspect had been wounded, he continued to struggle and resist, police officials said. Self is currently deployed in Iraq.
The Lifesaving Award was given to Officer Ted Springfield for two separate incidents in 2008. In one, Springfield responded to a home where a woman was on the floor, discolored and unresponsive. He performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and the woman survived.
Ike, a Belgian malinois, is already making a lot of noise on his first day.
“He’s a very personable dog. He’s very friendly,” said Chuck Salsbury, Junction City Police.
Once he hears his call from his partner and caretaker, he’s off to work taking down the bad guys, one bite at a time, which is something the the Junction City Police Department has waited for for a long time.
“We had to wait 45 minutes. I mean, we’re quite a distance from Eugene and Springfield,” Salsbury said.
But they won’t have to wait anymore. After some officers involved with Eugene’s K-9 units heard Junction City needed a dog, they were able to donate Ike. They say that will allow Junction City Police to cover ground they normally couldn’t.
Springfield police officers were recognized Tuesday for their efforts at keeping the peace in the capital city in 2009.
The awards and honorees include:
- Officer Scott Ligon, Porter Williams Award for distinguished acts of bravery or heroism. Ligon found an injured woman inside a motel room, as well as a man holding a knife and covered in the woman’s blood. Ligon ordered the man to surrender, but he refused. After a struggle, Ligon was able to subdue the man.
- Officer Timothy Zajicek, Silver Suarez Award for distinguished police work by a uniformed officer. Zajicek arrested an armed robbery suspect from near St. Louis as the man was driving north on Interstate 55. The man was a suspect in several armed robberies in the St. Louis area, and the vehicle he was in was stolen.
- Detectives Ryan Sims, Brian Johnston and Michael Flynn, William Herndon Award for distinguished acts of police work by plainclothes officers. The three tracked down a man responsible for multiple break-ins and sexual assaults during the summer. He now is in prison.
- Detective April Smiddy, Abraham Lincoln Award, which honors an officer who does something to improve the quality of life in the community. Smiddy worked with a state legislator to strengthen laws protecting child domestic abuse victims. As a result, new legislation set stronger penalties for people who harm, disable or disfigure children under 13 or those with severe mental impairments.
- Springfield Police Department honor guard, Chief’s Unit Citation for representing the department and responding to requests to be at funerals and other events. Honor guard members are Lt. Kenny Winslow, Sgt. Charles Kean, Detective Mike Fannin and officers Chris Vollmer, Gerry Castles, Mark Johnson, Mike Vogel, Don Bivens, Matt Doss and Chance Warnisher.
The actions of a retired Springfield Policeman helped saved a woman’s life who was nearly abducted. Richard Reid retired just last week, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with his duties.
Only a few days into his retirement, former Springfield Police officer Richard Reid and his brother Robert were drinking coffee on the front porch of his Keith Street home yesterday morning.
Reid says it was the instincts from his 13 years on the force that let him know something wasn’t right.
Richard’s Brother Robert Reid says, “All of a sudden I see my brother Richard sort of going into a different mode.”
Reid says a car driving down his road suddenly stopped and two men got out. Reid watched the men for a few minutes and then called 911 when he noticed them signal to the car to turn around as they headed towards a young woman on the curb.
Richard Reid says, “The woman then realized something was going on too because she got up off the sidewalk and walked towards the back of her home over there and when she realized the men were gaining on her, they changed direction as she changed direction I then told the dispatcher they were about the abduct the woman.”
The woman works at this massage parlor and was able to make it inside and shut the door only moments before the men tried to grab her. Reid gave the dispatcher the license plate number and identify the the suspects who were pulled over a short time later.
19 year old Darius Parker, 19 year old Darrell Love, 17 year old Guiseppe Demaria and 17 year old Daniel Campbell were arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping.
Reid, “I went in and I talked to the woman at the business and made sure she was alright, she realized that something was going to happen and she was very frightened. Being a cop you do get a little nervous and you do get worried for people and that was my main concern was that woman not getting harmed or abducted.”
The woman’s identity has not been released. She told police she doesn’t know why the men tried to abduct her.
The sound of gunfire is not one many would run towards, but for police officers and emergency responders, it is their job. But, fighting crime and taking down the bad guys is only step one. In many cases, there are innocent victims and even the suspects themselves who need medical attention, and that is what several officers from Western Mass. were training for this week.
“It gives the civilian and the downed officer the advantage of having the treatment faster than having the ambulance showing up. So, we’re already starting treatment, recognizing the adverse reactions of something that occurred, and we can correct them in the field prior to the ambulance getting there,” said Eric Stratton, a Hampden Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Tactical Team Medic.
Emergency responders from the State Police, Westover, Springfield, Ludlow, and American Medical Response teamed up for a week-long session at the Springfield Fire Training Center. They are learning Tactical Medical Response.
“This type of training is invaluable to save lives,” said Springfield Police spokesperson Sgt. John Delaney.
By practicing with real life scenarios, the officers are better able to respond to extreme situations where they might find people facing life-threatening injuries.
“What we’re looking to do is up their pulse rate and get the anxiety up so we can make sure that under these extreme conditions, they can still operate while they’re doing their police correctional work, and they’re expected to do certain medical skills,” Stratton said.
Even if that means trying to stabilize a patient while they’re under fire. The trainers said the small-scale training will help emergency crews handle large-scale catastrophes.
“This is only going to help the region… If a Columbine incident happened somewhere in Western Massachusetts, we’re going to have 15 officers here who are trained to respond to an incident like that to treat the wounded right on scene, which is going to save lives,” Delaney said.