Tuesday, 31 December 2019 17:12

Hamlet officers recognized for achievements

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Four officers were honored Tuesday for helping save a woman's life two days before Christmas. Bottom row, from left: Chief Tommy McMasters, Sgt. Charles Talley, Cpl. Kevin Viana,  Sgt. Amanda Reagan, Patrolman Jacqueline Brown and City Manager Jonathan Blanton. Top: Detective Lt. Dale Capel and Lt. Donald Ray Morton. Four officers were honored Tuesday for helping save a woman's life two days before Christmas. Bottom row, from left: Chief Tommy McMasters, Sgt. Charles Talley, Cpl. Kevin Viana, Sgt. Amanda Reagan, Patrolman Jacqueline Brown and City Manager Jonathan Blanton. Top: Detective Lt. Dale Capel and Lt. Donald Ray Morton. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Four police officers were recognized Tuesday for their life-saving efforts days before Christmas.

Cpl. Kevin Viana was filling out paperwork the morning of Monday, Dec. 23, about to get off shift, when he responded to a cardiac arrest call at a home on Second Street along with Sgt. Charles Talley, Sgt. Amanda Reagan and Patrolman Jacqueline Brown.

When they arrived, officers say the victim, a 70-year-old woman, was being administered CPR by her son.

When the officers checked, Patrol Lt. Donald Ray Morton said there were no signs of life.

While the other officers took turns giving chest compressions and speaking with family members to keep them calm, Brown comforted a small child in another room.

Not long after EMS arrived, the woman had regained a pulse and began breathing.

“Officers continually train to ensure they’re prepared for whatever obstacles they may face during the course of duty,” Chief Tommy McMasters said during a small ceremony at City Hall on Dec. 31. “When I assumed the position of chief of police here in Hamlet, I stood firm on these principles — be professional, be proactive and be prepared.”

Those officers, he added, adhere to those principles.

All four were presented with certificates and a life-saving pin for their actions.

Prior to that presentation, Michael Johnson was promoted from patrolman to corporal.

Johnson and Talley were also presented with pins for completing field training officer certification through the N.C. Criminal Justice Training Academy.

McMasters said the course includes 40 hours of training and written assessments.

“Field training is likely the most important training of any officer’s career,” McMasters said.

City Manager Jonathan Blanton expressed his appreciation to all the officers for everything they do “day in and day out.”

“I’m extremely proud of them and enjoy working with them,” Morton added. “I know that after almost 14 years … you feel like you can always be prepared …but ... in this line of work we never know what we’re going to encounter every single day.”