Seattle Police Officer of The Month November 2019

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The SPOG Officer of the Month for November 2019 is Officer Oliver Murphy, nominated by Officer Rene Miller.

Officer Murphy, who was augmenting 3rd watch, along with other officers, responded to the robbery of an elderly homeless woman at 0216 hrs on Veterans Day. The woman had been harassed about sleeping on the sidewalk and the suspect threw her belongings into the street. As she tried to call the police the suspect tried to grab the woman’s phone. She managed to hang onto her phone and when her dog Sam, a Corgi, came out of the sleeping bag, the suspect grabbed the dog and fled with the victim the dog returned, injured. Security returned with the dog’s collar and leash and told officers that he had seen the suspect to do something to the dog’s neck and then throw the dog into the air and pull it violently to the ground, bouncing the dog off the ground. The dog’s leg was dangling and obviously broken, with a cut the hip area and bone could be seen. Officer Murphy located a 24 hr vet that would take the case with little immediate promise of payment and he arranged for the victim to come to the precinct later in the day to get her dog. Officer Murphy spent the first two-plus hours of his next shift making phone calls and writing emails to the emergency vet and an animal rescue organization to find a way to get the bill paid (up to $10,000) for the immediate care for the dog (which would include amputation of the leg) and for the victim to not have to give up ownership of the dog, just to get it treated. The victim’s homelessness was a hurdle he had to overcome in getting treatment for the dog and keeping the two together. He called Mobile Crisis to assist in this endeavor. At the time of this nomination, the Mobile Crisis Team was attempting to place the woman in temporary housing that accepts animals and Officer Murphy was able to articulate to all of those who were in the position to assist, the importance of the dog to the woman as her companion dog and how devastating giving up the dog would be. The animal rescue organization will not only be paying for the immediate medical care of the dog but also for it’s follow up care. The dog may not lose the leg and the internal bleeding has stopped. Officer Murphy could have taken the dog to the vet and left it at that but he went above and beyond to make sure that both the dog and its owner were properly taken care of the best way he could.


Seattle Police Officer of The Month September 2019

I wish to make the Department aware of Harbor Officer John Novak’s recent lifesaving actions while working on a Harbor Patrol boat during the recent Seafair activities on Lake Washington.

On 8/3/19, the US Navy Blue Angels had just completed their acrobatic airshow in the late afternoon. From the shores of Seattle to Mercer Island, hundreds of spectator-packed vessels lined the area north of the I-90 floating bridge. Some vessels were anchored and others were drifting freely. Numerous vessels were tied to one another in rafts and there were hundreds of people in the water.

At approximately 1630 hours, a boat approached Officer Novak’s patrol boat. The occupants relayed that there was a person on board another boat who had just suffered a serious injury.

Officer. Novak immediately advised radio, requesting SFD medics on board another Harbor Patrol boat respond. Officer Novak then motored his Harbor boat through the thick crowd of boats and swimmers to the reported area, locating the boat with the injured person aboard.

When Officer Novak arrived, the victim was lying unconscious on the back of the boat. Officer Novak observed what appeared, based on the massive bleeding, to be an injury to the victim’s femoral artery – as well as additional deep cuts to the victim’s femur. The victim’s friends were using beach towels to try to stop the bleeding, but could not do so. Officer Novak boarded the boat immediately applying direct pressure to the victim’s groin using the full weight of his knee in conjunction with a trauma dressing. This immediately stopped the bleeding. While continuing to control the victim’s bleeding, Officer Novak applied a tourniquet and eventually with the assistance of SFD Medics transferred the patient over to another Harbor boat to make a high-speed run to Mt. Baker Beach.

The patient was delivered to landside SFD medics and transported to Harborview Medical Center where he survived his injuries.

Officer Novak’s actions were heroic and without a doubt saved the victim’s life. Navigating through heavy boating traffic, Officer Novak arrived within two minutes of the initial report of injury. He directly cared for the victim for five to seven minutes until he was turned over to SFD Medics at Mt. Baker Beach.

Officer Novak’s rapid response, situational awareness, decision-making, and life-saving actions in treating this injured victim are to be commended.