Hero: a person noted for feats of courage or
nobility of purpose; especially one who has
risked his or her life.
In the field of
police work we are sworn to protect the citizens
and visitors of our great city.
We are tasked to enter dangerous
situations and at times to make unpopular
decisions amid the public outcry.
It is often that we save lives, prevent
damage to property, and do other good deeds that
receive no public or internal recognition.
We aren’t looking for praise in the
press, or adulation from our coworkers, we just
want to do our job and keep everyone safe.
We are the Unsung
One Unsung Hero did
something that was not reported in the newspaper
and that received no special recognition by the
But eleven years after it happened, I
still remember what a fellow officer did for a
citizen that prolonged the person’s life.
June 7, 1995
Officer Arthur “Monty” Woods and I responded to
W Maryland after we received a contact residence request
call from the homeowner’s wife who was out of
state at the time.
She called the police after she was
unable to reach her husband who lives at this
We knocked on the door and there was no
We walked around the house and looked to
see if we could see anything, but we saw no one
except for a barking dog that we could see
through the front window, running around inside
We didn’t know if the homeowner went to
the store or had left with a friend.
There were no signs of foul play.
We were going to leave and make it a
number “2”, but Officer Woods told me that he
had a feeling that we shouldn’t leave yet.
You know, the “police sixth sense” that
we develop over time about various situations.
The feeling we get about something that
sometimes saves our lives or the life of
It also manifests as a gut feeling when someone
is lying to us: when our intuition is telling us
something that the facts about a matter is
saying exactly the opposite.
Officer Woods had the feeling that day.
It didn’t manifest in me that day, but he
He said, “Terry, I think we need to check a
little further, something is telling me we need
to check again”.
We contacted the
neighbor next door who told us that she had
tried to reach the homeowner at his residence
hours earlier and she was unsuccessful.
She was also aware that he had heart
problems and was therefore, concerned about him.
We re-contacted the wife of the homeowner
by telephone and expressed our concern and the
neighbor’s concern about her husband. She gave
us permission to break a window to enter her
residence to check the welfare of her husband.
Officer Woods contacted our supervisor
and after he arrived, he broke the window and we
all entered the residence with an animal control
officer, who restrained the large dog that was
We searched the residence and found an elderly
man in a bedroom lying on the floor, between the
bed and the wall.
He was unconscious and had shallow
He was unresponsive to our efforts to
wake him up.
We feared he may have had a stroke.
We contacted the Phoenix Fire Department
who arrived in a short time, and transported the
homeowner to the hospital.
I was impressed
with Officer Woods because he heard and listened
to that inner voice that told him to check
It saved the life of a person who may have been
found dead if he had remained in that situation
for several hours more.
It is because of this life-saving effort
that I like to commend Officer Woods for being
an Unsung Hero.
Detective Terry Yahweh