Eight Police Officers were awarded the Albuquerque Police Department’s highest honors Friday June 8, 2012 by Police Chief Raymond Schultz at the department’s annual award and retirement ceremony.
Albuquerque— Officers Mark Dietz and Martin Smith were honored with the department’s Outstanding Service Award and Officers Homero Alvidrez, Nathan Cadroy, Travis Cochran, Henry Landavazo, Eric Smith and Pat Smith received APD’s Life Saving Award. Fifty-Seven officers who recently retired were also recognized for their service during the ceremony at the Albuquerque Police Academy
The officers were recognized for the following actions:
- On Feb. 20, 2012, Officer Nathan Cadroy was having breakfast at the Blake’s Lotaburger at 3806 Montgomery NE when noticed a female slapping a child in the middle of the back with an open hand. The woman then told officer Cadroy that the girl was choking. Officer Cadroy immediately spun the child around and performed the Heimlich maneuver. After several attempts, the child expelled a large obstruction and was able to take a deep breath. She then began breathing normally.
- On Jan. 19, 2012, Officer Martin Smith responded to a stabbing had just occurred at Eastern and Palomas SE near the Cesar Chavez Community Charter School. Officer Smith arrived within 30 seconds and saw five students and a teacher trying to render first aid to a male student who had suffered a stab wound to his chest. The male was unconscious, turning blue, and had very shallow breathing. Using his prior military experience, Officer Smith immediately applied a combat pressure dressing to the injured student. He then turned the student to his left side to open his airway and facilitate breathing. Officer Smith kept pressure on the wound until rescue crews arrived during the entire incident; Officer Smith remained calm and spoke to the student with words of encouragement. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Officer Smith and AFD personnel, the student later died at the hospital.
- On June 10, 2011, Officer Henry Landavazo responded to a call that a man was found down and out in a parking lot and was possibly choking. Upon his arrival, Officer Landavazo located the man who was unconscious, not breathing, and had a significant blue color to his skin indicating a lack of oxygen to his body. Officer Landavazo performed CPR for approximately five minutes and was able to successfully resuscitate the man who breathing on his own when medical personnel arrived on scene.
- On Nov. 22, 2011, Officers Eric Smith and Homero Alvidrez responded to a call from a woman advising that her ex-boyfriend had told her he was going to hang himself. The woman said her ex was having breathing difficulties while on the phone. Upon arrival, the officers were unable to get a response at the front door and windows. As Officer Smith was checking a bedroom window to gain entry, he heard someone struggling to breath. The officers immediately forced their way into the apartment and located a man in a bedroom closet hanging from a t-shirt that was wrapped tightly around his neck. Both officers used their knives to cut the t-shirt and remove it. They then placed the man on the floor where he was able to regain consciousness and breathe on his own.
- On June 30, 2010, open space officers Mark Dietz and Pat Smith were preparing to conduct fire patrol in the Bosque open space area at Alameda Drive NW when they were approached by a woman reporting that her brother was missing. The woman said her brother is a retired school teacher who suffered from disorientation possibly related to a stroke. He had also been suicidal and making threats to harm people. About 30 minutes later, the man was found in the rapidly moving water of an irrigation ditch, where he was purposely submerging himself for long periods of time. Open space officers and the Bernalillo County Fire Department prepared to execute a swift water rescue prior to the Paseo del Norte underpass. It was determined that the passage under Paseo del Norte in the fast moving and high flowing irrigation ditch would possibly be fatal for Mr. Portillos given his condition and apparent intention to end his life. Officer Dietz successfully maintained communication with Mr. Portillos, which allowed for the proper swift water rescue equipment to be deployed. As Mr. Portillo dove toward the passage entrance, officer Smith executed a dive team rescue maneuver and guided Mr. Portillo safely through the passage.
- Officer Travis Cochran was on routine patrol in the area of Wyoming and San Antonio NE when he responded to a call Quality Suites Hotel that a small child was unresponsive and had possibly drowned at the pool. Upon his arrival, Officer Cochran saw a four-year-old boy by the side of the pool with blood coming from his mouth. He noticed an elderly woman crying and a man trying to perform CPR on the child. The man, who was later identified as the child’s father, was desperately yelling for the boy to breathe. Officer Cochran saw something in the boy’s mouth and immediately turned him over and struck him on his upper back between his shoulder blades. The boy coughed and blew out the obstruction, however; the child was still not breathing. Officer Cochran was not familiar with child CPR so he asked over the police radio for assistance. Officer Cochran then performed CPR as AFD personnel provided instruction over the air. By the time AFD arrived, the child was breathing on his own.