He's just a police officer. One of our most traditional and respected occupations, though lately, it hasn't seemed like that. The stories that cross our television screens are often accusatory and negative and policemen have been losing their positions on the totem pole. Have we forgotten about the good ones? The good cops and the good stories? The real truth is those same people are saving lives and for that, we should be thankful.
This past week, in my own small town, Corporal Trey Lassiter responded to a call at a local business regarding a sick employee. Soon after, another call was placed and then another. Trey, still unsure of what was happening, rushed back to Leon Nixon's Catering, a renowned Eastern NC barbecue establishment. He decided that he should evacuate the remaining people at the business and in his own words stated:
“It was almost like speaking a foreign language,” says Lassiter. “I was talking to them and explaining to them that we needed to get out of the building. Nothing that I said registered. They just looked at me and just kind of walked around like they were spaced out.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer and kill, it does. Approximately 400 people die each year, but not this time. Not in Edenton, North Carolina. Not on the watch of Corporal Trey Lassiter. No, he ushered thirteen people out of the building where levels were in the 800 range (5 is considered necessary to evacuate) and nine of them were flown to Duke Hospital in eight helicopters to receive treatment in the hyperbaric chamber. Crisis averted and all's well that ends well, but that's not enough for me.
He is just a police officer. A man known for his good nature and his commitment to a job that is similar to motherhood, little pay for great sacrifice. Thank you from all of us, thank you for your commitment, following your gut and striving to serve our tiny town that is wonderful. Thank you for ensuring that we weren't the town where all the people died of carbon monoxide poisoning. We are too good for that and you deserve the credit, Corporal.
Just a police officer? I don't think so.