RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With categories such as Medal of Honor, Rookie of the Year and De-Escalating awards, officers of the Richmond Police Department were recently celebrated for their work on and off the field.
Officers of the department sat down for a panel after the award ceremony and spoke on their heroic acts and why they are in this line of work.
Officer Naitraj David and Taylor Lisco were called to a scene at an overpass on Arthur Ashe Boulevard. They found a male sitting at the very edge of the bridge. The two officers empathetically helped the man off the bridge and ultimately saved his life.
“Know that I am a Dad, I am a Husband, I am an uncle, I have a brother. So, with that being said the uniform comes after. So, if they could see me as a person, I guess that would be a step in the right direction for me,” Officer David said when asked what he wanted the community to know about him.
Most officers acknowledge their extensive training to help prepare them for real-life scenarios on the job. For example, Officer Reynaldo Perez was called to the scene where a man was sitting in his truck with a knife, ready to harm himself if law enforcement came near him. Calmly, Officer Perez diffused the situation, gave the man his number and said to call him if he needed anything.
“Training is super important. What is more important is after the training,” Officer Perez said. “When you go home and picture yourself in these situations and how you would go about it, how you would discuss something with somebody — you then remember that we are all human. We are all brothers, sisters, and we all need to look out for each other.”
Chief of Police Gerald M. Smith said he had been in the business for a long time and is very proud of the Richmond Police Department and their work.
“Not every Police Department is the same, ok?” Chief Smith said. “Not every police department has been taken care of or actually takes the time out to give training and care to their officers. This one has.”