A Miami police officer was presented with the Character Certificate of Boldness Thursday during a city awards luncheon.
Officer Aaron Crockett was recognized for his contribution to the rescue of two boaters left clinging to trees in the middle of a flooded Tar Creek, after their canoe capsized.
Authorities responded to Tar Creek about 6:37 p.m. Friday, May 1, where a canoe had capsized.
At the time of the rescue, the Neosho River had risen six feet over the flood stage and heavy rains were causing swift currents in neighboring creeks.
When rescue teams arrived at the Tar Creek location, east of Miami, they found the occupants of the capsized canoe — a man and woman — clinging to trees in the middle of the creek as heavy current rushed past them.
“A rescue boat flooded out and they couldn’t get it to start again so that plan wasn’t going to work,” said Police Chief Gary Anderson, who presented Crockett with the award. “Officer Crockett took initiative to find a different plan to rescue the stranded boaters.”
According to Anderson, Crockett noticed a metal pipe crossing Tar Creek that was about 2-foot in diameter.
“Officer Crockett climbed out on the pipe and crawled across it until he could throw a rescue rope to the stranded boaters,” said Anderson. “He was awarded for boldness because he jumped in there and got something done when nothing else was working.”
Anderson said he commends all of the men involved in the rescue last Friday.
“They did an outstanding job,” said Anderson. “The fire fighters and evening shift officers worked as a team to make this a successful rescue.”
Crockett has served as an officer on the Miami Police Department since April 10, 2006.
In addition to Crockett’s recognition, a number of other City employees were recognized for their service to the community.
The following employees were recognized for years of service:
Tim Wilson – 10 years, Administration Department.
Joe Waldon – 10 years, Street Department.
Danny Welch – 35 years, Cemetery Department.
Larry Stafford, an employee of the Solid Waste Department, was recognized for his retirement after 30 years.
Virgil Tartar, an employee of the Street Department, was named Employee of the Quarter.