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Officers Help Elderly Couple Through Difficult Time

Friday’s Heroes: Officer Paula Mauser and Officer William Velasquez.

June 16, 2017

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Officer Paula Mauser and Officer William Velasquez as Friday’s Heroes for going above and beyond to help a married couple whose luggage had been stolen from their vehicle.

Eighty-eight-year-olds Kendall and Jacqueline Hayes live six months out of the year in Tucson, Arizona, and the other six months in Gurnee, Illinois. They have enjoyed living in two homes and traveling between the two states for the last 15 years. Last month, the Hayes’ left Oro Valley, Arizona, and drove to Albuquerque to have a brief layover. After checking in around 8:00 p.m., they left the hotel to have dinner at a restaurant that was a few blocks away. Then, they parked and walked away from their vehicle to the restaurant. Once they were out of view of their vehicle, thieves took the opportunity, broke two windows of their SUV, and stole half of their luggage and belongings, including the Hayes’ family jewelry and business records.

When Officers Mauser and Velasquez arrived at the scene, they sensed the distress the couple was going through. Following their investigation, the officers decided to help the husband and wife through the stressful situation. One piece at a time, Officer Mauser and Office Velasquez moved the Hayes’ luggage that was still in their vehicle, up to their third floor hotel room. Because two of the SUV’s windows had been broken, the officers arranged to have the vehicle moved so that it was safely parked at the hotel’s front entrance.

Mr. and Mrs. Hayes reported in a local news article that Officer Mauser and Officer Velasquez renewed their faith in all police departments. They praised APD for the recruitment and training of these two police officers, indicating that Officer Mauser and Officer Velasquez possess a natural ability when working with the public during difficult situations. It is for these reasons that Officer Paula Mauser and Officer William Velasquez were recognized as this week’s City of Albuquerque’s Friday’s Heroes.