Officer saved life

North Plainfield Police Department

Press Release

Chief William Parenti

May 15, 2014

Chief William Parenti credited rookie police officer Mike Jean-Baptiste with saving the life of his training Officer.  The public is well aware the police are often called upon to help people in their time of need, and sometimes they even save lives.  However it’s a rare occasion that such action occurs in the police department lunch room.  As fate would have it that recently occurred when veteran Officer Mike vonSpreckelsen and a newly hired trainee Officer Mike Jean-Baptiste where enjoying a meal together on Saturday May 10, 2014 at 8:00pm. 

This was Jean-Baptiste’s last day of Field training under the supervision of Officer vonSpreckelsen. During the meal, Officer vonSpreckelsen begin to exhibit the classic signs of choking.  Luckily for vonSpreckelsen, he had trained Jean-Baptiste well and Officer Jean-Baptiste jumped into action.  Jean-Baptiste attempted back blows first with no success.  He then relied upon the proven Heimlich maneuver and dislodged the airway obstruction threatening his fellow officer’s life.  It took several attempts because Officer vonSpreckelsen was wearing a bullet proof vest that obstructed the compressions.  Officer Jean-Baptiste’s actions are a testament to his effective training.

Training Officer vonSpreckelsen had already written his final report recommending Officer Jean-Baptiste as fit to begin patrolling on his own.  My guess is that after the lifesaving event Officer vonSpreckelsen felt he made the right decision on Officer Mike Jean-Baptiste being ready to protect and serve the community Chief Parenti said. 



William G. Parenti
Chief of Police

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North Plainfield Police Dept.
263 Somerset Street
North Plainfield, N.J. 07060
(908) 769-2920
Fax (908) 769-8406