Life Saving Awards Presented to Two Officers for Response That Saved Life of a Female

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Life Saving Awards Presented to Two Officers for Response That Saved Life of a Female

Posted: 12/19/2017
Rogero, Dabbelt, Armstrong, RauschKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Chief David Rausch presented Life Saving Awards to Knoxville Police Department Officers Wallace Armstrong and Michael Dabbelt.  Officer Armstrong has been with KPD since January 1993 while Officer Dabbelt has been an officer since September 2009.

On September 3, 2017, at approximately 9:51 a.m., Officers Michael Dabbelt and Wallace Armstrong responded to a disturbance call on Candace Circle.  The caller was crying heavily and was unable to provide the E-911 call taker good information and an address.  The caller gave fragmented statements and then would not communicate any further.  An address was obtained via latitude/longitude coordinates.  When officers arrived they made contact with several of the occupants who stated that everything was fine and everyone was accounted for in the residence.  Being thorough, the officers asked if they could check the residence just to be certain.  While checking the residence they came to a bathroom door that was locked.  The occupants then stated that they had forgotten that their friend was also staying at the residence.  The officers attempted to make contact with the female through the door, but could only hear muffled sounds from inside.  After several attempts were made to make contact with the female, the officers utilized the pin override on the door knob and made entry.  Upon doing so, they found the victim hanging from a noose in the shower area.  They acted quickly and attempted to cut her free, but finally had to break the support she was hanging from to get her down.  The victim was still alive and was transported via AMR ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

Chief Rausch said, “Officers Dabbelt and Armstrong responded to a simple disturbance call without even having a confirmed address.  Their thoroughness resulted in them finding a suicidal victim in the active process of killing herself and interceding in her doing so successfully.  She later stated that a broken romantic relationship and strained relations with her parents were the reason behind her depression.  Excellent work on the part of both officers saved the life of the female when the other occupants of the residence did not even realize she was in crisis and had forgotten she was even present.”

“The officers could have simply taken the word of the occupants that everything was all right and left the area, but they went beyond the easy response to ensure that all subjects in the home were okay.  Their diligence is what made the difference in this young woman’s life and now she will have the opportunity to move forward and get her life in better shape,” Chief Rausch concluded. 


Click here to view a listing of KPD award winners.