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sheriff logoToday is a day set aside to say, “thank you” to law enforcement officers. It’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Though tensions have been strained recently between the black community and law enforcement nation-wide due to the killings of unarmed black males, in particular, there are officers who serve communities across the nation diligently with professionalism, transparency and a real concern for people.

Answering Above And Beyond The Call of Duty

A local example of serving diligently with a genuine concern for people happened on the west side of the Circle City on New Year’s Day. Three Indianapolis Metro Police Department officers saved the life of a victim trapped inside burning house. They were IMPD Interdiction Officer Gary Hadden a 16-year veteran, Interdiction Officer Brian Thorla a 10-year veteran and Southwest District Officer Grady ‘Skip’ Copeland an 11-year veteran who answered the call. The residence in the 41-hundred-block of West Vermont was engulfed in flames with smoke pouring out into the night air when the officers arrived to assist the fire department. Among the issues at hand was they arrived first, beating the fire department who were en-route to the scene. Another issue was all three officers heard a faint cry for ‘help’ coming from inside the residence. What to do, what to do…

Without hesitation or regard to his own life, Officer Hadden ran into the burning home from the rear with no protective gear on to search as the home continued to fill with smoke. He followed the voice and found the resident in the back of the home. Officer Hadden picked up the victim to carry him out to safety but couldn’t find the exit in the smoke. So the other officers jumped in to help with vocal cues to direct hip on the way to get out. The house started coming down with burning debris hitting him in the head and back while he carried the homeowner. So Officer Thorla ran inside the burning house, taking the victim and carrying him out to the front yard. It was getting worse, so Officer Copeland ran into the flames as well to help his partner out of the blaze to safety. Both Officer Hadden and the homeowner were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation by the fire pros and the three of them saved the life of the homeowner.

Ways to show your support include wearing blue, posting a message on social media or stopping to thank an officer while you’re out and about in the city. There are an estimated 780,00 police officers in the United States.

In other law enforcement news, here in Indy, IMPD is planning to hire 115 more officers. That’s an increase, according to IMPD Chief Rick Hite, who recently announced that because of some cost efficiencies, the department was able to boost the number from the original 90 officers that were approved by the City-County Council. Expect new members to the local force after they complete two classes that begin their training in May and October.

Check out the video that supports today’s “Thank a Cop” observation:


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