By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Sept. 5, 2019) Lt. JD Lawson of the Berlin Police Department was recog- nized at the Town Council meeting last week for saving an infant’s life.
“On behalf of the mayor and council, and the citizens of Berlin, thank you,” said Mayor Gee Williams. “We appreciate you and this very commendable act.”
Lawson went to the lobby of the police department on 129 Decatur St. on Aug. 8 to assist with an unresponsive 3-month-old infant. Lawson said the parents had called 911, but “brought the child here to get immediate help.”
Lawson examined the infant, who he described as “limp” and “non-responsive.”
“So the first thing I did was turn the child over, at which time an abnormal amount of liquid came out of its mouth through my fingers and onto the ground,” Lawson said. “And I turned the child back over, opened its mouth, used my fingers to sweep some more out, and then the child started crying and breathing normally.”
Williams said the child was taken to a local hospital and is now doing well.
Because of privacy laws, the infant’s identity could not be disclosed.
Lawson said he was grateful he was able to help save the child’s life.
“It’s a nice change, and unfortunately in my career, I’ve been handed other children in the same type of circumstances where there was not a good outcome, and this time it was good that there was a positive outcome and the child is well,” he said.
Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing also praised Lawson’s efforts, but reminded many of the people in the council chambers that it’s also part of the job.
“So a lot of times we are faceless and thankless, and this is a true honor to go ahead and have an opportunity to go ahead and acknowledge his actions…,” Downing said.
Lawson accepted the commendation from Williams and appeared thankful for this recognition.
“Well it’s good that the public gets to see the very positive things that police officers accomplish,” Lawson said.
Lawson also said he’s noticed a shift in the relationship between the public and police during his 31-year tenure in law enforcement.
“Most of the time when we come somewhere to some type of call, it’s all-negative,” Lawson said.
Nevertheless, Downing added that it’s important to continue working to foster the bond between area residents and law enforcement officers.
“If we don’t have the community, we cant [do] our jobs effectively,” Downing said.