Four local police officials got the chance this week to stand face to face with a man whose life they helped save last month.
The Lacy Lakeview Police Department held a ceremony Monday to honor and recognize the actions of Lacy Lakeview Officer Nathan Necessary, Cpl. Scott Dent, dispatcher Sherry Harris and Texas State Technical College Police Department Officer Joey Villareal, who are credited with saving the life of Anthony Casarez.
Officers were dispatched to Casarez’s house at about 7:30 p.m. April 10 on reports of a man unconscious on his front porch, said Dent, 31, who has been a police officer nine years. They found Casarez motionless and could not detect any pulse or breathing.
“We started CPR very early,” Dent said. “We assessed it and we immediately started CPR.”
As a crowd gathered around the house to watch, the officers rotated throughout the incident to make sure they could continue to administer CPR properly until emergency medical providers with American Medical Response arrived. They were able to restore a pulse in Casarez before ARM officials arrived to continue providing care as they transported him to a local hospital, Dent said.
“Those are the ones you want to win,” he said. “You never want to lose those.”
Dent said the officers take CPR very seriously, and he has performed CPR on many people because of the department’s quick response time.
Lacy Lakeview Police Chief John Truehitt praised everyone involved for their quick thinking.
“Because of the quick answer and response, the team effort, our officers, our dispatchers and our neighboring TSTC got a pulse and got him in the ambulance transported to the hospital,” Truehitt said.
Dent said seeing Casarez alive was his favorite part of Monday’s ceremony.
“That is a rewarding feeling,” Dent said. “You can get all the awards that you want during your career, but to be able to step back and see and talk to a guy who at one point in time you weren’t sure he was going to make it out of this, … it’s the most rewarding thing. To save another human being’s life, that’s pretty powerful.”
Truehitt said that moments like the one with Casarez reinforce the positive side to police work and that it is important to recognize the great work officers do.
“Today far too often, police work can be somewhat depressing,” Truehitt said. “We are called when crises occur, when things have gone wrong. Most encounters with police tend to be on the negative side, but I cannot think of anything greater than saving someone’s life. That is what we are here to do, to save a life and make the world better.”