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Two Sandy officers recognized for saving lives

Officers Bickle, Roberts thwart suicide attempts


Saving a life doesn’t always involved pulling someone from a raging river or a burning building. Sometimes, it means saving a person from themselves.

On Monday, Dec. 7 the Sandy Police Department recognized Officer Jason Bickle and Sgt. Ernie Roberts for interfering when two people attempted suicide.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Officer Jason Bickle receives a life-saving award from Chief Kim Yamashita and Mayor Bill King on Monday, Dec. 7.

“As you know, every man and woman in this department displays unknown and untold courage and professionalism and strives to provide nothing short of outstanding service to our community,” Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita told the Sandy City Council at its Monday meeting. “We’re very lucky to have them.”

In September, Roberts responded to a report of attempted suicide. As the first officer to arrive, Yamashita said Roberts saved a woman attempting to hang herself. Because of Roberts’ actions, Yamashita said the woman was able to get medical and psychological help.

A couple weeks later, Bickle rushed to the scene in north Sandy after a man jumped from a moving vehicle, receiving life-threatening injuries. Bickle performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation for five minutes until medics arrived.

“His actions sustained the man’s life until he could be take by Life Flight to a trauma center,” Yamashita said.

Bickle remained humble after he and Roberts received medals and framed certificates while their families, friends and peers watched.

“What I did that day wasn’t any different than what any police officer would have done any time of day,” he said. “This award goes to every single police officer — not just me.”

Joking that he was under-dressed for the surprise occasion, Roberts expressed love for the city of Sandy and said it remains, “the best place I’ve ever worked.”

The officers received their awards from Yamashita and Mayor Bill King as the uniformed staff of the Sandy Police Department looked on.

“It’s officers like you that make the city of Sandy what it is,” said King. “In this day and age, it’s a pleasure and an honor to have officers like all of you represent the city.”POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Sgt. Ernie Roberts is recognized for his efforts above and beyond the call of duty on Monday, Dec. 7.

Although it could have been any officer answering the calls, Yamashita said it was Bickle’s and Roberts’ humility that distinguished them.

“We are all proud of both of them and their recognition is important in that I think most citizens don’t know what we (as law enforcement) do every day,” Yamashita said. 

“It is particularly easy in a small, safe town such as ours to assume that the police don’t ‘do much’ beyond writing tickets, chasing loose dogs and the occasional bar fight or domestic (dispute),” the chief said. “In reality, our officers touch the lives of people in this community every day in many ways. Sometimes, such as this, those interactions have profound life changing effects for both the citizen and the officer.”


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