MINOOKA – When you say Minooka’s finest (meaning police officers) are pretty fine, they have the facts to back that up. Six patrolmen and two sergeants recently received life-saving awards and Officer Kiedra Meece was named Officer of the Year by her peers.
Meece started with the Minooka Police Department as a patrol officer. She was promoted to detective and worked in investigations for five years, but just recently opted to go back out on patrol. She has 17 years of police work experience.
Meece’s peers chose her to represent them as Officer of the Year because of her involvement in so many areas of the force, said Chief of Police Justin Meyer.
As a detective, Meece was part of the Kendall County Major Crimes Task Force. She’s a representative of the county TRIAD program, which provides services and information to keep elderly residents safe, and she was the police union president until this past year.
“We were always able to get a contract done in a timely manner [with Meece],” Meyer said.
Meece also was honored with a life-saving award for her quick response and action to assist a 70-year-old unresponsive man at Osco Pharmacy drive-thru in Minooka in 2016. Meece applied an automated external defibrillator, which got his heart going again.
Meyer calls Meece one of his most dependable and reliable officers.
Other life-saving awards were presented to officers Staci Kapinus and Renee Parrish for saving a female overdose victim in June 2016 by performing CPR and administering Narcan.
Officer Robert Latz was honored for saving a female overdosing on heroin in December 2016 by administering Narcan, a medication carried by Minooka officers to block opioid delivery in the system and reverses overdoses if administered in time.
Officer Christopher Presler and Sgt. Matthew Chinski responded to an unresponsive male who was not breathing earlier this year. A heroin overdose was suspected, so Chinski performed CPR and chest compressions. Presler administered Narcan.
In October 2016, Officer Erik Larson and Sgt. Sean Beeler responded to a male victim who was unresponsive and had no pulse. Larson began CPR while Beeler applied an AED, reviving the man.
While the officers and sergeants were acting in the line of duty, their training and prompt and alert actions are what resulted in saving these lives, said Meyer to each of them.
A new public act put into effect last April, requiring first responders to carry Narcan, was implemented in Minooka as well. Carrying the medication has resulted in saving the life of five residents in one year, Meyer said.
“It’s not just the Narcan,” said Meyer. “They had to perform CPR to unresponsive [victims] with no pulse.”
Their dedication to duty, professionalism and commitment to excellence reflects on each of them and the village of Minooka as well, Meyer said.
• Kris Stadalsky writes about people and issues in areas southwest of Joliet. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.