New GRPD recruit saves choking man

GRPD Recruit Officer Tyler Sheppard with Jerome Goldston. (Courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While new recruits from the Grand Rapids Police Department were serving meals to the homeless, one recruit noticed a man choking and jumped into action.

Twelve new GRPD recruits helped prepare and serve lunches to the homeless at God’s Kitchen on Division Avenue on Thursday.

Recruit Officers Allison Kolden and Tyler Sheppard noticed a man slumped in his chair. When they noticed he wasn’t breathing, Sheppard went to the rescue and was able to dislodge a piece of food from Jerome Goldston, according to a GRPD release.

GRPD Recruit Officer Tyler Sheppard with Jerome Goldston. (Courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department)
GRPD Recruit Officer Tyler Sheppard with Jerome Goldston. (Courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department)

“I just saw him there and noticed he couldn’t breathe. I picked him up, did a few back blows, then performed the Heimlich maneuver, and the man started breathing,” said Sheppard. “It was a good thing we just had a CPR class this morning.”

The officers in training also toured Heartside Ministries, Mel Trotter Ministries, Dégagé Ministries and the Heartside neighborhood.

Heartside Police Officer Jason Sotke says that a majority of the city’s homeless population live in the Heartside neighborhood.

“Most of the officers will work in this area or will use services that are offered here to assist them in their daily duties during their careers,” Sotke said. “We want to ensure they are familiar with the people we serve in this area.”

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