Powell Police Sergeant Receives Lifesaving Award
November 17, 2021
On September 23, 2021, Officers were dispatched to locate and return a runaway juvenile female to her family. Officers located the juvenile, who was non-compliant with Officers. The juvenile ultimately fled from Officers and entered the the irrigation canal near E Coulter Avenue and N Evarts Street.
Officers attempted to negotiate with the juvenile to exit the canal which was flowing toward a drop structure at the intersection of E Coulter Avenue and N Hamilton Street. Unfortunately, past history shows that a person who enters a drop structure is highly unlikely to survive the injuries sustained from the force and currents of the water. Sergeant Alquist entered the flowing canal approximately 20-30 feet from the drop structure. Sergeant Alquist began swimming through the current toward the juvenile, who dove underwater to avoid apprehension. Sergeant Alquist was able to reach the juvenile, and directed her to the opposing shoreline where she was pulled to safety by other Officers on scene. It is estimated that upon Sergeant Alquist and the juveniles exit from the canal, they were within 10 feet of the drop structure.
Despite the imminent dangers of entering the water so close to the drop structure, Sergeant Alquist made the conscious decision to put his life on the line to protect a juvenile who was facing certain death. While it is an unfathomable decision to make, Sergeant Alquist did so without hesitation or reservation, and ultimately saved the life of a juvenile community member through his courageous, heroic and selfless actions.