Our profession is often thought of as a family. The men and women of law enforcement are our brothers and sisters. Even though we have different agencies across the country, from big-city policing to small-town policing, we all share the duty of service. We watch over our partners and help them in their time of need. So I would like to tell you how I was able to give back to an officer I did not know from the New York City Police Department and his family in their time of need, and say thank you to those who helped.
As my ex-wife came to my house to pick up our kids for her days, she told me about a patient who came into the emergency room at Valley Hospital, where she is an emergency room nurse. She said there were several NYPD K-9 officers there with one of their partners, who had a serious medical condition and was being admitted to the hospital. She didn’t get into specifics, but she said he may be here for a while and his family was back in New York City. While I loaded the kiddos into her car, I asked her for the contact info for the other officers at the hospital.
After they left, I called the NYPD K-9 officer. He began to give me a rundown of their partner and his condition. They were all out here for a K-9 conference at the Tuscany. Several of our own K-9 officers were in P# 15047 attendance as well. They had been in town for three days and were scheduled to stay one more day, then return to NYC. I asked if there was anything they needed that night because it was late, and told him I would run down to the hospital in the morning and check on them. He said that their union, the NYPD Police Benevolent Association, was working on getting the officer’s family flown out so they could be with him. I told him that I’d make arrangements to get the family from the airport to the hospital once I had the flight info. I reached out to Captain Plummer from BAC and asked if he could have a car respond to the hospital to check on the officers and be a point of contact during the graveyard shift that night. He immediately had Sergeant Price contact me, and Sergeant Price went out of his way to offer his assistance to the NYPD officers.
The next morning, once I had flight information and knew who was coming, I called Detective Golgart, Lieutenant Lloyd and Minddie Lloyd of the IPOF. Through the IPOF and Phil Ruffin of the Treasure Island, they were able to secure hotel rooms for the family of the officer and his partner for the length of his stay in the hospital. Officer Sibelrud from the airport helped me get the family from the plane through the airport quickly and off to the hospital. For the next two days, I spent my time before and after work taking the family and other officers back and forth from the hospital to their hotel, and trying to make a stressful situation far away from home less chaotic.
Thankfully, the staff of nurses and doctors at Valley Hospital were excellent and were in constant communication with the officer’s doctors in NYC. After several days, once he was stable, he was able to fly back home and was taken to a local hospital in NYC. JetBlue was amazing, booking their return flights and making flight changes. JetBlue has always comped flights for officers attending funerals for those killed in the line of duty, and in this instance it was extremely generous to the family and the officers.
All in all, I’m very grateful to have been able to help and give back to one of our own in our profession. I want to thank everyone who had a hand in making all this possible.
At the PPA, we have the honor of protecting your rights and providing you with assistance and guidance. To help a fellow officer and his family from another jurisdiction was an honor and a privilege.