Warren Police rush to try to save 4-month-old, commissioner defends officers 'heroic' actions
On Tuesday, Warren Police released body camera footage that shows their efforts to save a 4-month-old baby who stopped breathing on Saturday, which commissioner Bill Dwyer called heroic.
Dwyer called a press conference for 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the police department, where to release bodycam video of the officers' efforts to save the baby. The press conference was called in the wake of a report that officers didn't take proper actions to save the baby's life.
Officers were called to a home in Warren on Saturday, March 18, to a baby who was not breathing. They arrived, performed CPR, and then made a split-second decision to drive the child to Ascension Oakland Hospital while continuing CPR.
Dwyer said they are releasing the video, so the public can see "first-hand the emotional scene Patrol Officers’ encountered and their continuing efforts to attempt to save this child’s life."
Dwyer called the update in the wake of a report by another news agency that indicated Warren Police "passed" an ambulance while on the way to the hospital.
The call came in at 9:38 a.m. on the 18th with a woman saying that the baby wasn't breathing. Officers were at the house nearly immediately, and they go the baby to the hospital within 3 minutes. Bodycam video shows officers jumping out of the car, grabbing the baby, and running back toil the car. They were at the hospital within seconds.
"The transport, conducted by a two-officer car, you'll notice the officer in the passenger seat does CPR and chest compressions all the way to the hospital," Dwyer said. "I fully support the heroic actions undertaken by these officers in an attempt to save the child's life."
Dwyer said the officers did everything they did to get the baby to the hospital as fast as possible, and that they got the baby to the hospital in the same amount of time that it would have taken firefighters to have arrived at the scene.
"There is no internal investigation," Dwyer said. "There was never an internal investigation into any of the officers in this incident. The officers did nothing wrong. The officers utilized their training, their experience, and common sense to get the child to the hospital as quickly as possible."
During the video, Warren Police said at no time did the see or pass a Warren fire truck or ambulance.
"It is sad that I have to be here today to defend the men and women in blue who did all that they could to safe the life of this child."
Dwyer then showed video of the officer arriving, taking the infant from the mother's arms, and trying to revive it with CPR.
The closest hospital was Ascension, Oakland. Body cam video from the front seat of the cruiser shows an officer frantically performing CPR on the baby as another officer sped to the hospital.
Unfortunately, the baby did not survive.
"The officers acted heroically and did the best that they could," he said. "The men and women of the department are very concerned over what was reported, including the dispatchers."
Dwyer said they are working with the fire department to determine if there are other protocol to put into place.
"I think there are come concerns about the police department's responsibilities are, when it comes to transports, and what the fire department feels are theirs," he said. "We're not trying to take any transports away from them or saving lives. It's a partnership."
In response to Dwyer's comments, Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt ‘Skip' McAdams issued this statement:
"Warren Fire Department will not be answering any questions regarding Warren Police Department's treatment and transport of the infant child transported to Ascension Oakland Hospital. Questions regarding this incident should be directed to police Commissioner Bill Dwyer as the department head and senior commanding officer of Warren Police Department.
The only comment I would like to make is that I would like to provide my condolences and deepest sympathies to the parents and family of the infant child. I personally believe that WPD officers did everything that their training and experience allowed them to do in responding to, treating and transporting this patient to the hospital."
Dwyer said it's unknown what happened to the baby and why the baby wasn't breathing. Dwyer said the death is still being investigated.