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Local News

Lockport officer provided CPR at Jewel, helped save resident

Police to begin daily patrols of city’s schools next year

Dave McDaniel
Dave McDaniel

The Lockport Police Department recognized officer Dave McDaniel at Wednesday’s City Council meeting for recently performing lifesaving efforts on a longtime Lockport resident.

Dan Cassity, the man McDaniel helped revive with CPR on Nov. 17 at a local Jewel-Osco, presented the 12-year police veteran with his award.

That day, McDaniel was called to the grocery store on 159th Street where Cassity, a 25-year resident of Lockport, was unconscious and not breathing, Police Chief Terry Lemming said. It was the day before Cassity’s 55th birthday.

McDaniel performed CPR until members of the Lockport Township Fire Protection District arrived.

Cassity survived. Two weeks later, he walked into the police department to thank McDaniel in person, Lemming said.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” Cassity said as he presented McDaniel with the award. The two men hugged.

Lemming said that while his officers routinely help people, he had never seen someone come in to thank them like Cassity did.

“It’s really special,” Lemming said.

Cassity later said he lives alone and was grateful he had been in a public place when he had his heart attack.

“The greatest thing was that I spent my birthday in the hospital,” he said, smiling.

McDaniel said he gave all credit to God. “He puts you in the right place at the right time,” he said.

Sgt. Brian Phelan, an 18-year veteran of the department, also was presented with a lifesaving award Wednesday for helping to revive someone who had stopped breathing while driving in a car with a child June 7.

The person was able to be revived with the efforts of Phelan and fire district paramedics but later died, “which does not diminish the lifesaving efforts of Sgt. Phelan,” Lemming said.

Also recognized with commendation letters Wednesday night were the six members of the fire district who also helped Cassity on Nov. 17. Firefighters Ross Grady and Nicholas Rymut were present to receive their commendations. Firefighters John Baskerville, James Baumgartner, Jason Pytlewski and Capt. William Blaskey were not able to attend the meeting.

LPD to institute regular patrols
of Lockport schools

The Lockport Police Department plans on making two new hires in 2019 to help the department institute daily patrols of all the city’s schools, Lemming said.

The City Council’s Committee of the Whole was presented with a request to hire two new patrol officers. These would be additions to the police department, not replacements.

City Administrator Ben Benson said a recent study showed that the city’s police department should have 29 members in its patrol division. The two new hires would bring Lockport’s patrol division close to that number with 28, he said.

Lemming said the department would now be able to start having officers visit the city’s schools every day to ensure a visible police presence.

“It is very important in order to deter anyone from trying to do harm to the schools,” he said.

Once hired, one candidate would need to complete both academy and field training, while the other – who is coming from another department – would complete field training. The daily school patrols should start by late spring, Lemming said.

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