Law enforcement officers are challenged daily while answering the call of duty; they face each encounter freely and unselfishly. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the profession.
Late one night, two officers from the Jamestown, Rhode Island, Police Department responded to a 911 call about a man who had jumped off a dock into a body of water. When they located the caller on the pier, she pointed out her friend, and Officer Nathanial Schaffer began talking to him.
Initially, the man responded and appeared to tread water on his own, but he was not able or willing to swim to the pier. He also refused to grab an object thrown to bring him in. As the officers tried to convince him to return to the dock, he became tired and stopped moving, so Officer Schaffer jumped into the freezing water to rescue him.
The officer used a rescue buoy to keep the man’s head above water and pulled him to the pier. Realizing he would not be able to lift him 6 feet up to the deck, he then swam approximately 100 feet south to a floating dock, towing the man. Rescue personnel pulled the men out of the water, and both were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Officer Nathaniel Schaffer
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or an arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up, a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.