Statement from Chief Brad Rasmussen, Lakeport Police Department:
This week our administration learned that officers were dispatched to a “suspicious vehicle” call. Officers responded and found that the vehicle, a pick-up truck with a loaded trailer attached, had broken down and was in a spot on a busy roadway creating a possible hazard for the occupants as well as other motorists. Officers further found that the vehicle and its contents contained all of the family’s possessions and that they did not have resources to fix or move the vehicle to a safe location.
In order to mitigate the situation and help the family, Officer Juan Altamirano used his own resources, not those of the agency, to have the vehicle towed to a safe location while further arrangements could be made. Any other action at the time could have placed the family in jeopardy of losing their vehicle and possessions.
While reviewing Officer Altamirano’s action in this incident it also came to light that this was not the only time he had taken this type of action. We found that several months ago, Officer Altamirano had located a stranded elderly motorist with a broken-down vehicle for whom he purchased food and water to assist the individual.
These kinds of actions are above and beyond the call of duty. Officer Altamirano is commended for his compassion, empathy, respect and dedication to our duty of making the community a better place.
These gestures of kindness are not all that uncommon with police officers. We often do not find out about these acts because officers do not do them to be recognized but rather out of kindness to assist a fellow human being.