Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Officer honored for helping lost elderly couple with dementia

Deputy Chief Cy Ritter filled in as acting chief yesterday at an award ceremony in which we honored dozens of department members and citizens who have gone the extra mile. Some, you never hear about, so it's good to recognize them in this way.

One such person who went above and above is Timothy Trost. A relatively new officer, Officer Trost saw an elderly couple on the corner of 39th and Benton while on regular patrol at 1 a.m. on March 11, 2011. Because of the time of night and the cold temperatures, he decided to check on them. He spoke with them briefly and realized they were confused and feeling the effects of the cold. He called an ambulance, and it became clear to him the couple suffered from dementia.

They couldn't remember their address and didn't know where they were. Officer Trost calmly and patiently gathered enough information from them to figure out where they lived. After an ambulance took the couple to the hospital for treatment of low blood sugar, Officer Trost could have returned to his regular patrol, but he didn't. Instead, he found the couple's house. All the doors and windows were locked, and no one was home. Officer Trost then went to a neighbor's house, determined to find someone to come care for the couple. The neighbor was able to give Officer Trost a phone number of a close family member of the elderly couple. He contacted them and learned a scheduling miscommunication had left the couple alone without their normal caretakers, and family were on their way to the hospital once he told them what happened.  

This kind of compassion and perseverance shows what kind of people work at KCPD. Nothing required Officer Trost to do any of the things he did, from stopping in the first place to tracking down the elderly couple's family, but he's proof that good people make good police officers.

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