By John Edwards
On May 14, Sheffield Lake Police Officer Ken Collins was among more than 50 police officers honored as one of the nation’s “Top Cops.” Collins, his wife Lindsay and their daughter, Mikayla, traveled to Washington D.C.’s Warner Theater where the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) honored Collins with an award at a ceremony hosted by John Walsh, star of TV’s “America’s Most Wanted.”
This is the 17th year NAPO has honored heroic officers with this award.
“These officers deserve all the praise they are getting and more.” Walsh said. “They are men and women who serve and protect, risking their lives for others.”
“It was quite an honor and very humbling to be recognized amongst such an elite group of officers from all over the country,” Collins said recently. “Two of the other nominees were Sgt. Kimberly Munley and Sgt. Mark Todd of the Directorate of Emergency Services, Ft. Hood Texas
Police Department. They are the officers who stopped the Ft. Hood shooter.”
On July 7, 2009 Collins and SLPD Sergeant James Mariner received letters of commendation from Chief of Police Larry Shepherd for taking quick action to end the suicide attempt of a 27-year-old city resident. Shepherd wrote, “Nothing an officer can do during his career can be more meaningful than the saving of a life. It is with the utmost pride that I honor you with this commendation.”
A week earlier, Mariner and Collins had responded to a 911 call reporting a suicide in progress at a Lake Road apartment. Mariner wrote in his report that he and Collins got no response to repeated knocks on the door when they arrived but the door was not locked. The
officers found the woman hanging in a closet, a sheet tied tightly around her neck and a clothes bar. She had no pulse and was not breathing. The sheet had cut into the skin of her neck, which was bruised and bleeding.
Mariner cut the sheet and Collins removed it from the woman’s neck and the officers began CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She began to breathe again, and Mariner detected a weak pulse as the fire department’s rescue squad arrived on the scene. Paramedics transported
her to Community Health Partners for treatment and evaluation. Both Collins and Mariner were nominated for the NAPO honor because of their life-saving efforts last summer, but Mariner was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“I’m very proud of both officers,” SLPD Chief Larry Shepherd said. “I would have loved to have attended their recognition dinner in Washington D.C. Occasions where officers are awarded for their efforts in law enforcement come too few times and too far between. Unfortunately, Sgt. Mariner was … unable to attend the dinner, but Patrolman Collins donned his Class A dress uniform and represented our police department and our city well. All of us at the Sheffield Lake Police Department are proud of these officers’ life-saving actions and we’re proud of the national attention they’ve received.”
Colllins acknowledged the team effort, saying, “I would like to add that I wish Sgt. Mariner could have been in Washington to accept the award with me. It was a team effort that evening. I’m thankful to Chief Larry Shepherd and Terry Gallagher, who is the executive director of the Ohio Police Benevolent Association, for nominating us.”