Chief Lowery thanks officers for work, calls heroin and opioid addiction a community scourge
DeKALB – Several DeKalb police officers have been commended for exemplary actions during the past year, including three who were honored this week for taking quick action to save lives.
Life-saving awards are an honor, but they also are only a sampling of the work the city’s police officers do day in and day out in the city, DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery said during an awards ceremony Monday as the DeKalb City Council met as a Committee of the Whole.
“They do it on behalf of you,” Lowery said. “They do a job that many people would not do. For the job they’ve done, I just want to say thank you. It is certainly a tremendous honor to serve with them.”
While recalling the officers’ actions, Lowery also noted the toll opioid addiction is taking in the community.
Sgt. Thomas Petit (above)
On March 23, Petit, who is the department’s primary first aid and CPR instructor, responded to a call about a girl who was unresponsive in the 2200 block of Cambridge Drive in DeKalb. When he arrived, Petit saw that she was not breathing and was in a life-threatening situation.
Petit administered rescue breaths to the victim for several minutes before DeKalb paramedics arrived and treated her with Narcan. Within a week, she was fully recovered and back at high school participating in sports, Lowery said.
“Sgt. Petit demonstrated his life-saving skills, his concern for another human being and dedication to duty as he helped to save a victim,” Lowery said. “He represented himself and the DeKalb Police Department in an exemplary manner. He should be acknowledged, honored and commended for this life-saving action.”
Officer Brian Bollow (above)
On Dec. 29, 2016, Officer Brian Bollow responded to the 300 block of Augusta Avenue for an intoxicated man who had fallen down. Bollow saw that the man was unconscious and someone else was providing chest compressions as some means of emergency service.
The officer determined that the victim had a faint pulse and began CPR procedures until medics were able to administer Narcan to him.
Officer Elizabeth Fabro (above)
Before presenting the final life-saving award to Fabro, Lowery said heroin addicts used to be people who had traveled a rough road in life, but today heroin and opioid addiction was afflicting a broader swath of people.
“If street heroin can be purchased for less than a package of cigarettes, it can take the lives of countless people that never had to walk down the same road heroin addicts did in days gone by,” Lowery said. “It’s a scourge we all need to deal with.”
Lowery then acknowledged Fabro for a call she handled Jan. 10, when she was called to an apartment on the 1400 block of West Lincoln Highway for a male victim who collapsed and wasn’t breathing.
Fabro used an automated external defibrillator to resuscitate the victim. When paramedics arrived, she assisted as needed until the victim was transported for further medical care, Lowery said.
[Sam Buckner for Shaw Media]
Several officers also received honorable recognition, formerly known as act of kindness awards. Recipients included a shift of officers who bought presents for children who had to leave their home Christmas morning because of a domestic dispute,
Officer Jeff Winters who helped a homeless man in need and officers who assisted a 2-year-old who was wandering in the road.
Commendations for officers of the Targeted Response Unit and who handled calls regarding suicidal suspects, armed offenders, residential burglaries and armed robbery also were acknowledged.