(STILLWATER, OK) – Stillwater Police Dept. honored 16 employees at the annual ceremony for their distinguished service throughout the past year – which included saving lives, ensuring the 911 system was operable and administering medical aid until medical personnel arrived.
“There are several stories of officers saving a life through quick and decisive action. If these officers had not acted with the care and compassion shown, someone would have lost a son, daughter, father, mother or friend,” Police Chief Jeff Watts included. “It is an honor to recognize our officers and their professionalism, integrity and exemplary character.”
The list of awards and descriptions are included below.
Civilian Employee Awards
Recipients: Josh Mires, Madysen Jefferies and Brian Porter
On June 8, 2021, Detention Officer Josh Mires was conducting a routine search of a male suspect who was brought into the city jail when he located a hidden, loaded pistol in the suspect’s waist area. Mires maintained a calm, controlled composure after locating the firearm and fellow officers quickly took possession of the firearm which allowed Mires to complete the search and book the inmate. The suspect’s criminal history check revealed a history of violence, including assault with a firearm. If Mires had not located the firearm, there may have been a different, even tragic, outcome during the booking process. Detention Officer Mires was awarded the Command Commendation.
On Sept. 24, 2020, Madysen Jefferies joined a tremendously understaffed Animal Welfare team. At that time, there was only one other officer and one kennel tech. Both left shortly after Jefferies was hired. Therefore, Jefferies and the Animal Welfare Director covered the duties of a five-person unit. For 13 weeks, Jefferies was the only available field officer. Once another officer was hired – Jefferies continued performing her duties and trained the new officer. During training, Jefferies identified concerns with the training program and revamped the process. A few short months later, the recently hired officer resigned and the director retired. Jefferies was the only officer, doing the work of five and kept Animal Welfare open. A new director was later appointed and new staff hired. For more than fifteen months, Jefferies displayed skill, poise and dedication while accomplishing far more than what is expected of an employee. Madysen Jefferies was awarded the Command Commendation.
In September 2019, the Stillwater Police Department’s 911 system began experiencing occasional computer freezing issues. The problem continued to grow in frequency throughout 2019, 2020, and into 2021. Dispatch Supervisor Brian Porter began working with the software company that developed the 911 mapping program to identify the problem. Several attempts to fix the problem failed and the system continued to freeze during 911 calls. The software company could not identify the problem and the program was crashing. Porter was determined to locate the problem and would not allow the software issues to place 911 callers in danger of not receiving emergency responders in a timely manner. He began conducting research into other dispatch centers that were using the same software. Porter put an immense amount of pressure on the software company and during a meeting with the company CEO, he was able to get a commitment to resolve the problem. Due to Porter’s tenacity and commitment to the citizens of Stillwater, the 911 system is now fixed and callers are able to receive much-needed help in a timely manner. Brian Porter was awarded a Command Commendation.
Sworn Personnel Awards
Recipients: Tanner Galbiso, Alonzo Cordova, Michael Busenius, TJ Low, Jimmy Knox, Damian Neiswanger, James Hansen, Billy Cluck, Caleb Cassidy, Greg Calloway, Daryle Gee, Jacob Rivera and Zac Gulick
On May 21, 2021, Officer Tanner Galbiso was dispatched for a disturbance call and was informed that, “someone is bleeding out.” Upon arrival to the scene, Galbiso found an unconscious male on the ground and a female applying pressure to a severe wound on the male’s right arm. Galbiso quickly assessed the situation and learned that the victim had a large arterial wound to his arm. The victim was bleeding to death. Galbiso quickly applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm, the victim began to regain consciousness. The victim was transported to Stillwater Medical Center. SMC personnel contacted Chief Watts to ensure Officer Galbiso was made aware that his swift actions saved the victim’s life. Officer Galbiso was awarded a Lifesaving Award.
On June 13, 2021, Officers Alonzo Cordova and Michael Busenius were dispatched to a call for service for an overdose victim. Upon arrival, officers located the victim face down on the sidewalk and unconscious with a faint pulse. The victim exhibited signs of a life-threatening fatal opioid overdose. Cordova administered a dose of Narcan which had no effect on the victim. Busenius gave Cordova his Narcan and a second dose was administered until the fire department arrived to administer oxygen. The victim regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital for treatment. A friend of the victim admitted to using the same drugs as the victim. Busenius convinced the individual to also go to the hospital for treatment. While the friend was being transported his condition deteriorated and he received a dose of Narcan. Both victims were treated for opioid overdose and recovered. Officer Cordova and Officer Busenius were awarded the Lifesaving Award.
On June 26, 2021, Sergeant TJ Low and Officer Jimmy Knox were dispatched to a welfare check at McElroy and Skyline. A vehicle was stopped in the roadway and the male driver was reported to be unresponsive. Sgt. Low finished his shift and was off-duty when the call came out, but he was closer than the responding officers. Upon arrival he located the vehicle and driver. Low attempted to wake the driver but received no response, he then administered a dose of Narcan but it was ineffective. Low picked the victim up and moved him to the ground, observed the victim’s pupils were fixed and dilated, and that the victim was grasping for air. Because he could not find a pulse, he began chest compressions. When Knox arrived, he took over chest compressions until the Stillwater Fire Department and LifeNet arrived. LifeNet used a defibrillator to administer a shock to the victim before transporting him to the hospital. It was discovered that the victim had a heart attack. Low and Knox were instrumental to keep the victim alive until further treatment at the hospital. Sgt. Low and Officer Knox were awarded Lifesaving Medals.
On Sept. 18, 2021, Officer Damian Neiswanger and Officer Alonzo Cordova responded to a call for service to assist LifeNet with an unresponsive female in a parking garage. The victim had shallow breathing. Upon assessment, officers discovered the victim was suffering from an opioid overdose. Cordova administered a dose of Narcan and the victim regained consciousness. Due to their quick actions, they saved the life of an overdose victim. Officer Neiswanger and Officer Cordova were awarded Lifesaving Medals.
On Sept. 19, 2021, Sgt. James Hansen and Officer Alonzo Cordova responded to a disturbance call. Upon arrival the officers located a male who had been involved in a domestic disturbance. The individual had two stab wounds in his chest and he was bleeding profusely. He had a lacerated aortic valve. Sgt. Hansen began administering lifesaving medical aid. When assisting officers arrived they located the suspect who had seriously injured his hand during the stabbing and began administering medical aid to him. While Hansen was administering medical aid, the victim told the officers he was dying and asked them to call his parents. Both officers reassured the victim they were going to do everything they could to save his life. When the fire department arrived on scene and took over treatment, Cordova contacted Officer Howell to identify a landing zone for a helicopter. The victim was transported by helicopter to a trauma center in Oklahoma City and survived. Sgt. Hansen and Officer Cordova were awarded Lifesaving Medals.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Sgt. Billy Cluck was dispatched for an accidental overdose with CPR in progress. Upon arrival, Cluck encountered a dazed and stunned female who directed him to the victim. A witness on scene was performing chest compressions on the victim. Cluck determined the victim had overdosed on heroin, administered a dose of Narcan and then requested a second dose. When medical personnel arrived they took over treatment of the victim. Cluck noticed the female who he initially encountered was now showing signs of opioid overdose. Both overdose victims were transported to the hospital and made full recoveries. Sgt. Cluck was awarded a Lifesaving Medal.
On Oct. 23, 2021, Officer Caleb Cassidy was dispatched to assist the ambulance on a report that a male had severely cut his arm after putting it through a window. When Cassidy and his backup arrived on scene they entered the residence and located the male in the kitchen. The victim was trying to control the bleeding from a severe laceration to the brachial artery on his right arm. From the amount of blood at the scene it was obvious that the victim was in need of lifesaving help. Cassidy placed a tourniquet on the victim’s arm and stopped the bleeding. Medical personnel transported the victim to the hospital for continued treatment. SMC personnel stated that Officer Cassidy saved the victim’s life. Officer Cassidy was awarded a Lifesaving Medal.
In November of 2021, first watch was shorthanded a patrol sergeant and Master Police Officer (MPO) Greg Calloway stepped into the role of interim sergeant for several months. Since his appointment, MPO Calloway has displayed enthusiasm and commitment and demonstrated leadership and sacrifice to ensure operations remain seamless. Calloway’s lieutenant praised his hard work and assistance and included that Calloway, “helped me and the other sergeants bring teamwork and comradery to the shift.” Calloway was the first senior officer asked to accept the position of interim sergeant during the long-term absence of the shift sergeant. Calloway accepted this role to ensure Stillwater citizens were served with the same professional police services they have come to expect. MPO Greg Calloway was awarded the Command Commendation.
On Jan. 12, 2022, MPO Daryle Gee was dispatched to a call for service regarding an overdose victim. Upon arrival, Gee found the victim non-responsive. Gee administered one dose of Narcan but it had no effect so he administered a second dose. The victim then began breathing. LifeNet arrived on scene and took over medical treatment. The victim was transported to the hospital and made a full recovery. MPO Daryl Gee was awarded a Lifesaving Medal.
On Jan. 26, 2022, Sgt. TJ Low, detectives and officers were involved in a vehicle pursuit of a suspect who drove his vehicle toward officers and into several police and civilian vehicles. The lengthy pursuit was through multiple high-traffic areas of Stillwater until it ended in the 400 block of east 6th after it was forced off the road. The scene was chaotic due to the magnitude of the event which involved – numerous collisions in a high-traffic intersection, multiple law enforcement agencies, many ambulances and fire trucks. Sgt. TJ Low was the dayshift supervisor and rather than getting pulled into the site where the pursuit concluded, he took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. Low focused his efforts on civilian vehicles and occupants that crashed near the scene. Low began directing officers and coordinating with other agencies to ensure the scene was safe and that all involved were checked for injuries. He coordinated with available resources to effectively gather all the information needed for the traffic collision reports and the criminal investigation. Low demonstrated exceptional leadership and organizational skills in a chaotic environment. Sgt. Low was awarded the Command Commendation.
On Feb. 1, 2022, Officer Damian Neiswanger, Officer Caleb Cassidy, Officer Jacob Rivera and Officer Zac Gulick were dispatched to a reported overdose. Upon arrival, officers were directed to an unconscious male. Neiswanger administered a dose of Narcan to the male victim and he began showing improvement. Neiswanger spoke with a witness who provided him with a syringe the victim had used to inject drugs. The victim regained consciousness but refused to be transported to the hospital for treatment. Neiswanger learned that if the victim did not receive further medical treatment, he would die once Narcan wore off. Neiswanger took the victim into custody and Gulick transported the victim to the hospital for treatment. Medical staff at the hospital advised that if the victim had not been transported to the hospital he would have died of a drug overdose. After the victim was treated at the hospital, numerous balloons filled with heroin were recovered from the victim’s hospital room. Neiswanger applied for a search warrant of the resident due to observations. Neiswanger, Cassidy and Rivera served the warrant, which yielded more than 30 grams of suspected heroin, methamphetamines, paraphernalia and two handguns (one was reported as stolen). The officers’ actions kept heroin, methamphetamine and firearms off the streets of Stillwater. Their work ensured that no other addicts were able to inject the heroin and that the firearms did not fall into the hands of criminals. Officer Neiswanger was awarded the Lifesaving Medal. Officer Neiswanger, Officer Cassidy, Officer Rivera and Officer Gulick were awarded Command Commendations.
In 2021, Stillwater Police Dept. (SPD) responded to more than 30k calls for service. SPD officers undergo multiple weeks of training – 49 weeks for uncertified officers and then an additional 32 weeks of training for certified officers. All of the training must be completed prior to working in the field alone.
“Due to the various situations our officers encounter daily, it is imperative they are properly trained and prepared to do what is needed. Our focus has been and remains to protect and serve Stillwater residents and visitors. We will do everything within our power to ensure public safety and I believe our officers’ efforts are a testament to that,” said Chief Watts.
For media inquiries, contact Dawn Jones, PIO, Communications Department at (405) 742-8214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.