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Home  >  Topics  >  Corrections

December 09, 2009
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Mich. cop nabs escaped prisoners who assaulted corrections officer

Officer Lisa Kirby says she doesn't see herself as a hero

Editor's note: Congratulations to this officer on an outstanding job. Take note of all the things she did right: 

(1) She recognized that she was experiencing normal, predictable and controllable physiological effects of high stress and arousal and employed combat breathing techniques during the pursuit (her first, incidentally) to keep negative responses in check.  (2) She reminded herself of the importance of giving “good information” to dispatch and took steps to ensure that she was able to do so, even in this intense situation.  (3) She had trained for and was mentally prepared for an engagement like this. When/then thinking paid off. “I knew what I had to do,” she says – and she did it! (4) She waited for back-up before securing the van where four of the five violent offenders remained. Deciding to approach alone could easily have proven to be a fatal mistake.

Officer Kirby may have been on the job for less than two years, but her heads-up police work reflects a career’s worth of officer survival and crime-fighting wisdom.

 

Lansing State Journal

EATON RAPIDS, Mich. — Eaton Rapids police officer Lisa Kirby was on a routine patrol when she spotted and pursued a stolen van.

The van fit the description of one reported stolen by five prisoners from the Michigan Department of Corrections. She ended up capturing the prisoners who escaped from a work detail earlier near Carson City after assaulting a corrections officer.

"I believe he noticed me right away," said Kirby Tuesday night. "His driving changed and became very erratic.” That pursuit erupted into a 10 to15 minute chase down M-99 reaching speeds up to 80 mph before she finally cornered the van on a dead-end road, J.P. Sullivan Drive, where she waited for backup before securing the van. Kirby was the first officer to locate and apprehend four of the five prisoners after their escape Tuesday from Carson City. The prisoners assaulted a guard, seriously injuring him before taking the van and fleeing toward Eaton County.

"This was my first pursuit," said Kirby, who has been an officer for just under two years. "It was very intense. My heart-rate was up. I had to do a lot of combat breathing to calm myself down. I knew it was very important for me to give good information to dispatch. It was a very intense situation. I had mentally prepared for it so I was ready for when I had to do a pursuit. I knew what I had to do."

Read full story: Eaton Rapids officer: "I was in the right spot at the right time"






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