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Posted on: April 5, 2017

Citizens, staff recognized for service, bravery and extraordinary actions at SPD awards ceremony

awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The Springfield Police Department’s Leadership Council hosted an awards ceremony Tuesday, April 4 at the Springfield Art Museum. Staff and citizens were commended for their service, and in some cases, their bravery and extraordinary actions.


Medal of Valor-Silver

This award is presented to department personnel who distinguish themselves by performing courageous acts of bravery or heroism above and beyond the call of duty in the protection of life or furtherance of justice, in doing so place their own safety in imminent danger.


Officers Chance Stapp, Brandon Gonzales, Oliver Hoedel, Caleb Schaffitzel, Greg Young, Matthew Thomas, Zach Pugh and Corporal David Shanholtzer

On Nov. 15, 2016, Corporal David Shanholtzer, Officer Brandon Gonzales, Officer Zach Pugh, Officer Oliver Hoedel, Officer Matthew Thomas, Officer Greg Young, Officer Chance Stapp and Officer Caleb Schaffitzel responded to Brookhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 3405 W. Mt. Vernon, in reference to a report of an individual who had entered the residential care facility armed with a rifle. These officers quickly responded to the location and determined the male, who was demanding to see his estranged girlfriend, posed a threat to staff and residents of the residential facility. These officers immediately formed a contact team and entered the building to attempt to locate the suspect. The involved officers were able to locate the suspect, and confront him, allowing the residents to be moved to safety while he was contained. Ultimately, the suspect took his own life and the incident was resolved without any injuries being sustained by the staff or residents of the residential facility. Each of these officers displayed heroism in placing their own safety in imminent danger so as to protect the lives of the staff and residents of the facility. They each displayed courage and bravery in their willingness to enter the residential facility in order to confront an armed subject. Their quick and immediate actions very likely saved the lives of staff members and residents who were present at the time of the incident.

On behalf of the Springfield Police Department and citizens of Springfield, we recognize you for your courageous actions and service to your community.


Citizen Service Medal

The Citizen Service Medal shall be presented to any citizen who displayed an act of bravery and/or courage while providing assistance to the Springfield Police Department. The act must have been necessary to the furtherance of justice or protection of life and related to the overall law enforcement objectives of this department. Sound judgment must have been demonstrated throughout the incident.

 

Char Peck, Tammy Sartin, Janet Huffman and Frances Day

On Nov. 16, 2016, an extremely agitated male entered Brookhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located at 3405 W. Mt. Vernon. The suspect came to the location armed with a high-powered, semi-automatic rifle and was looking for his ex-girlfriend, who worked at the facility. The woman had been granted an order of protection against the suspect the day prior to this event.

The suspect encountered four of the woman’s co-workers inside the facility: Tammy Sartin, Janet Huffman, Char Peck and Frances Day. These four women selflessly placed their own lives in jeopardy in order to protect their co-worker. Each of them knew of the protection order that had been granted against the suspect and they were committed to making sure the suspect didn’t locate their

co-worker. They each told the suspect numerous times that they didn’t know where she was located and to leave the facility. Tammy Sartin and Char Peck were able to exit the facility and call 911 to report what was happening. Janet Huffman tried to convince the suspect that his ex-girlfriend’s whereabouts were unknown. She told him several times that he was not supposed to be there. The suspect walked away from her and contacted Frances Day at a nearby nurse’s station. Tammy Sartin came back inside the facility and provided real-time information to 911 about the suspect’s description and current location. Frances Day was able to stall the suspect long enough for the responding officers to arrive and form a rescue element in an adjacent hallway. The suspect took his own life when he realized the officers had arrived and were approaching his location.

These four women displayed courage and commitment to the preservation of life by their selfless actions during this incident. Their ability to remain calm and act quickly were instrumental in protecting the innocent people located inside their facility and greatly assisted the Springfield Police Department.

On behalf of the Springfield Police Department and citizens of Springfield, we recognize your service to the community.

 

Citizen Service Commendation

This award is presented to any citizen who, through a single act, provided assistance to the Springfield Police Department. The act must have been related to the overall law enforcement objectives of this department.


Paul A. Phillips

On Nov.  1, 2016, a suspect entered Simmons Bank located at 2809 E. Sunshine Street demanding money from the teller. The teller complied and handed the suspect cash. As the suspect was leaving the area in a vehicle, Mr. Phillips was arriving at the bank in his vehicle. Mr. Phillips observed the bank manager in the parking lot pointing at a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Mr. Phillips interpreted the manager’s actions that the individual in the vehicle had robbed the bank.

Mr. Phillips decided to follow the vehicle and called 911 to assist with aiding law enforcement with the suspect’s location. Mr. Phillips was able to keep dispatch updated with the suspect’s location until law enforcement officers could arrive in the area. As a result of Mr. Phillips’ willingness to assist in keeping the community safe, law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions were able to respond to the correct location to arrest the suspect for First Degree Robbery.

On behalf of the Springfield Police Department and citizens of Springfield, we recognize your service to the community.


Tommy Davis

On the evening of Dec. 20, 2016, the Springfield Police Department responded to a report of a missing/endangered 13-year-old female. The juvenile had ran away from her guardian on foot and was considered endangered due to having Autism. There was great concern for her safety due to the cold temperatures, lack of shelter and lack of ability to defend herself. A coordinated search continued throughout the night with family members, Springfield Police officers and local media outlets. On the morning of Dec. 21, the search continued for the missing juvenile with approximately fifty officers from the Springfield Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office dedicated to finding her. Media coverage continued with photographs and a description of the missing juvenile being broadcasted throughout the local area. At approximately 10:30 a.m., emergency dispatch received a call from a City Utilities Transit Division bus driver indicating that he had located the missing juvenile riding with an adult male in an electric wheelchair on the sidewalk near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Broadmoor Street. Officers responded to the area and quickly confirmed she was the missing juvenile. She was taken into protective custody and soon returned to the family.

The bus driver, Tommy Davis, stated that he had seen the media coverage involving the missing juvenile and was looking for her as he drove his route. When he saw the female riding with the male in the wheelchair, he parked his bus at the intersection. The male in the wheelchair rode up to him and indicated that she needed help. Mr. Davis immediately brought the juvenile into the bus to keep her warm and the male left the area. Based on information from Mr. Davis, the male was located, arrested and was charged with Child Kidnapping.

The actions of Mr. Davis not only assisted the Springfield Police Department by locating the missing/endangered juvenile and bringing her to safety, but also helped investigators locate the suspect. On behalf of the Springfield Police Department and citizens of Springfield, we recognize you for your courageous actions and service to your community.


Dr. Justin Herrell

While attending a Community Partnership of the Ozarks meeting, located at 330 N. Jefferson, on Dec. 7, 2016, Officer Boomgaarden was approached by staff about an emergency just outside the facility. Staff led Officer Boomgaarden to where Mr. Vasile Iacob was found unresponsive after an apparent vehicle accident. Mr. Iacob was not breathing and his color was purple. Civilian Dr. Justin Herrell, a Springfield Public Schools administrator, assisted Officer Boomgaarden in stabilizing Mr. Iacob. Dr. Herrell performed chest compressions as Officer Boomgaarden retrieved an Ambu bag from his vehicle to deliver rescue breaths.

Officer Mychal Adamson arrived and relieved Dr. Herrell and Officer Dylan McKinsey arrived and relieved Officer Boomgaarden while continuing to render aid until the Springfield Fire Department arrived and took over CPR. Officer Boomgaarden had to cut away Mr. Iacob’s clothing to attach the fire department’s AED. One shock from the AED was delivered and Mr. Iacob’s pulse returned. Mr. Iacob was transported to the hospital shortly thereafter.

Due to your quick response and willingness to assist the Springfield Police Department, you assisted in saving Mr. Iacob’s life. On behalf of the Springfield Police Department and citizens of Springfield, we recognize your service to the community.

 

Life Saving Award

This award is presented to department personnel who personally save a life, normally involving one of the learned life supporting processes outside of routine measures.

Officers Jacob Boomgaarden, Mychal Adamson, Dylan McKinsey

On Dec. 7, 2016, Officer Boomgaarden was approached by staff about an emergency just outside the facility. Staff led Officer Boomgaarden to where Mr. Vasile Iacob was found unresponsive after an apparent vehicle accident. Mr. Iacob was not breathing and his color was purple. Dr. Justin Herrell, a Springfield Public School Administrator, assisted Officer Boomgaarden in stabilizing Mr. Iacob. Dr. Herrell performed chest compressions as Officer Boomgaarden retrieved an Ambu bag from his vehicle to deliver rescue breaths. Officer Mychal Adamson arrived and relieved Dr. Herrell and Officer Dylan McKinsey arrived and relieved Officer Boomgaarden while continuing to render aid until the Springfield Fire Department arrived and took over CPR. Officer Boomgaarden had to cut away Mr. Iacob’s clothing to attach the Fire Department’s AED. One shock from the AED was delivered and Mr. Iacob’s pulse returned. Mr. Iacob was transported to the hospital shortly thereafter. Due to your quick response and adherence to your training in CPR, you were instrumental in saving Mr. Iacob’s life. Your actions in this situation epitomize the commitment to saving lives and reflect great credit upon yourself and the Springfield Police Department.


Officer Chris Rasmussen

On Dec. 18, 2016, Officer Rasmussen was clearing a call for service and overheard Sgt. Dustin Martin being dispatched to 1024 E. Stanford regarding a medical emergency. Dispatch advised there was a hysterical caller on the phone reporting her husband was just talking and then collapsed on the floor. The male was seizing and foaming at the mouth. The caller could be heard screaming at her husband to breathe and she believed her husband was dying.

Officer Rasmussen was just a few blocks from the call and recognized Sgt. Martin was quite a distance away. Officer Rasmussen responded and contacted Jan Peterson Lawson, the wife. Officer Rasmussen immediately began chest compressions, gave instructions for Mrs. Lawson on performing mouth to mouth rescue breathing, and continued until EMS personnel arrived. EMS personnel continued rescue efforts for some time before they established a pulse and transported the patient. Cheryl Whitsitt, a close friend of the Lawsons, stated Officer Rasmussen was “calm and collected and just jumped in and went to work.”

Mrs. Lawson later commented, “I admire the hard work and dedication of all our law enforcement officers, but Officer Rasmussen showed just how far beyond law and order your jobs extend. That night he saved a family.”

Due to your quick response and adherence to your training in CPR, you were instrumental in saving Mr. Lawson’s life. Your actions in this situation epitomize the commitment to saving lives and reflect great credit upon yourself and the Springfield Police Department.


View video of ceremony


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Media Contact: 

Lt. Grant Dorrell
417-864-1422
GDorrell@springfieldmo.gov

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