IUPA, AFL-CIO Heroes of the Shawnee Police Association Demonstrate Quick Reaction in Response to the Crisis in Moore, Oklahoma
On Monday afternoon moments after the EF-5 tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma, Members of the Shawnee Police Association were quick to aid their fellow officers in Moore. IUPA Members Andrew Terry, Jay Keehn, Michael Myers and David Carpenter responded to provide assistance to the devastated city that is home to over 55,000.
Officer Terry and Myers were assigned, to work one square mile, where they spent the next 12 to 14 hours working on patrols and searching for possible survivors. Both officers said that searching for survivors was inherently difficult, in which most of the time was focused on listening for possible noises, while navigating the wreckage of homes.
Meanwhile, Officer Keehn was assigned a shift of patrols, working with traffic and perimeter control, while search and rescue operations took place. The Shawnee News Star quoted one officer’s, “As far as you could see, everything was gone," Keehn said while standing in a residential area, "Everything was demolished."
All of the responding officers were shocked by the severity of the destruction, as they worked overnight on Monday and into Tuesday. Describing another officer’s reaction the News Star also said, With all of the destruction in Moore, Terry wants everyone to remember others are suffering in Shawnee and Oklahoma as well, The News Star further quoted Officer Terry’s saying, “There are still families in Shawnee who lost everything,” Terry said.
Jason Crouch, President of the Shawnee Police Association IUPA Local #3 praised his members saying, “The officers in the Shawnee Police Department are all deeply committed to protecting the citizens of our city. They are equally committed to rushing to the support of their brothers and sisters in the emergency services. As tragic as the tornado damage has been and as deeply sorry for those who suffered grievous losses, we need to remember the brave commitment of all of our First Responders.” He concluded, “This is proof positive that these officers have a 24 hour, seven days a week dedication.”
Reacting to the dedication of the Shawnee officers, Sam A. Cabral, President of the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO said, “We are proud of the selfless acts of our First Responders during all crises. Specifically, the true bravery that has taken place is a testament to the hard work that individuals in Law Enforcement face every day. Our Members across the Nation serve as First Responders to a wide range of inherently dangerous acts, while putting their lives on the line to ensure the safety of others. We are proud of these Heroes, as they serve our communities well, across our resilient Nation. The IUPA family is deeply saddened by this tragedy.”
Please note, The IUPA is grateful for the information obtained from the Shawnee News Star’s article “Shawnee police officers respond to tornado-ravaged Moore area” on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Kim Morava
About the IUPA
Originally chartered in 1979, the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO is the only AFL-CIO chartered labor union that exclusively represents law enforcement officers and other support personnel. An estimated 80,000 law enforcement personnel (one out of every four eligible) represented by the I.U.P.A. are all full time employees of law enforcement agencies ranging from line officers up to first line supervisors as well as civilian employees. The I.U.P.A.’s mission is to protect and advance officers’ wages, benefits and work conditions. Membership includes officers from agencies throughout the United States and in the Caribbean. More information is available at www.iupa.org.