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Salinas police receive letter thanking off-duty officer for helping injured husband

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The Salinas Police Department shared a letter it received thanking the department for the help one of its off-duty officers provided during an incident earlier this month.

It was supposed to be like any typical off-day for detective Sanchez. Hopes of a calm day at the beach, however, turned into a service call when Sanchez saw a couple in need of help. Detective Ruben Sanchez was with his family at Asilomar beach when suddenly, a call for help for a man appeared to suffer a stroke.

"All of a sudden I didn't see him sitting in a chair,” Sanchez. “The two females were attending him and I could see something was going on. So I ran over there and I saw that it was a medical issue."

Detective Sanchez was able to help the couple, providing medical attention to the man before backup arrived. The wife of the man sent a letter to the Salinas Police Chief praising the detective.

"He is  truly a good samaritan and the city of Salinas is lucky to have him in the police department," she said in the letter.

Detective Sanchez read the letter and was surprised he received the praise. He is grateful for the time she took to write the letter, he said/

“From first responders, police officers, firefighters, it's just I think  it's in us,” said Sanchez. “That character, wanting to help, wanting to assist. doesn't matter the situation, if somebody needs help, we're not going to hesitate to to provide aid or jump in without hesitation.”

Commander John Murray said that it was important for the community to know about Detectives Sanchez's actions. This type of work is always done by officers, he said.

"Police officers especially at the salinas office,” said Murray. “We recognize what we do is exactly that, provide service and that doesn't end when we take the uniform off."

Read the full letter below.

Dear Ms. Fresé,

This letter is in reference to one of your employees, Officer Ruben Sanchez.

On Sunday, February 7, my husband I went to the beach in Asilomar to spend the day. During the afternoon, my husband, who has had a stroke, fell and his head on a boulder. I cried out for help. Officer Sanchez, who was spending the day with his family, had observed the accident and rushed to my husband’s aid.

He assisted me to stabilize his head, then called 911. He didn’t leave my husband’s side until the ambulance arrived. Officer Sanchez, in our opinion, acted heroically, and was caring, and kind. Thanks to him, I felt at ease, knowing that my husband was in good hands. He even brought our belongings to the car, which allowed us to answer questions from the paramedics. We believe Officer Sanchez went above and beyond “the call of duty,” to assist and support us.

It speaks very highly of your police department to have among its members a man such as Officer Sanchez. We are very grateful to him and hope that he receives words of recognition for his outstanding support to our family. He is truly a “good Samaritan,” and the city of Salinas is lucky to have him in its police department.

Part of Salinas PD’s Organizational Value Statement notes, “The Salinas Police Department exists to serve the community. We do this by protecting life and property, preventing crime, enforcing the law, and by maintaining order for all citizens.” Detective Sanchez’s actions prove that our community does not stop at the city limits and our commitment to protecting life does not only apply while on-duty. We would like to acknowledge and commend Detective Sanchez for his off-duty actions and thank him for displaying the high moral fiber expected of a Salinas Police Officer.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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