Saturday, October 10, 2015
First Amendment Helps Save Drowning Victim?
Front page article in The St. Augustine Record this morning with banner headline on SABPD rescue by officers Officers Russell Kelly and Natalie Gillespie of a swimmer in distress 100 yards offshore.
The two St. Augustine Beach police officers saved a drowning victim yesterday.
And you might say the First Amendment helped.
When St. Augustine Beach Commissioners unwisely voted in 2011-2012 to abolish the Police Department, several citizens told them it was illegal -- they were retaliating, and their own harsh words admitted so, in haec verba, for the ten of fifteen police officers raising concerns about their then-Chief's actions.
I told SAB Commissioners they were making a mistake, and could be sued in federal court for civil rights violations if they terminated seventeen employees.
A switch in time saved seventeen jobs and federal court litigation.
Thus, instead of a long delay for a Sheriff's Deputy to drive to SAB yesterday, it was a quick ride and two officers saved a drowning victim.
Thus, you could say the First Amendment saved a life October 9th.
Beach resident safe after being caught in rough water
Posted: October 9, 2015 - 1:46pm | Updated: October 10, 2015 - 12:09am
CONTRIBUTED Officer Russell Kelly
A 60-year-old St. Augustine Beach resident was rescued by Beach police officers after getting caught in the surf Friday morning.
Officers Russell Kelly and Natalie Gillespie were the first to arrive at the scene on Surf Drive, just south of Ocean Trace Road just after 10:30 a.m., according to a release from the St. Augustine Beach Police Department.
They found a swimmer in distress about 100 yards offshore, the release said.
“Both officers, without hesitation, removed their uniforms, grabbed their ocean rescue gear, and entered the ocean to assist the swimmer,” the release said. “Both officers were able to safely locate the swimmer in the rough surf and assist him to shore.”
On shore, St. Johns County Marine rescue personnel treated the man for exhaustion on scene.
He was released to family who were there after paramedics determined that no further treatment was needed.
“St. Augustine Beach Police Department Officers Kelly and Gillespie both acted with courage and bravery by entering the ocean knowing that strong rip currents were present,” the release said. “The quick response from the officers averted what certainly could have been a tragic incident. Both officers shall be commended for their courageous act.”
emmylight 10/09/15 - 02:48 pm 30Bravo to those two brave
Bravo to those two brave officers.
Morris1 10/09/15 - 03:03 pm 20... and to think.
Not too long ago, they were considering abolishing the SABPD and relying on St Johns County for Beach police service.
I wonder how long that dispatch would've taken had we not had our own local police force? Here's at least one human life we can chalk up to having local police close by.
Well done to those officers.
Firstcoaster 10/09/15 - 09:35 pm 20Fantastic!
Y'all done good.
Bigjosh92 10/10/15 - 06:08 am 10Proud of our Beach PD
I reside in St Augustine Beach
and believe our police department
does a great job. Very happy to
see these officers receive the recognition
they deserve. Keep up the good work!