BEYOND THE BADGE
Officer Preston Casey, Centerville
The following was submitted by Paul Child.
“During this past year Centerville Police Officer Preston Casey has faced difficult personal and professional tragedies, despite these difficulties he maintained a positive attitude and became even more sensitive to challenges faced by others.
Last December Preston was working the graveyard shift when a call came out of a woman in full arrest, he immediately recognized the address as his own mother’s. Preston’s mother has been fighting cancer for several years and it was thought she had defeated it. Officer Casey and Centerville Officer Colton Robinson responded and together performed CPR on Preston’s mother. Through the efforts of Preston and Colton, emergency medical responders, and medical staff at the hospital Preston’s mom was revived.
Although his mom regained consciousness without any brain damage she remained in the hospital for several weeks. While Preston’s mom was still in the hospital recovering his father suddenly fell ill and also went into full arrest while in the hospital but was brought back to life for a time. Like he did for his mother, Preston spend days in the hospital by his father’s side.
Eventually, Preston’s father passed away while still in the hospital. A short time after Preston’s dad died his mother was diagnosed with cancer again and this time it was not treatable, she died within a couple of weeks.
In addition to losing both of his parents this past year, Preston has lost several of very close friends over the past several years to suicide.
Officer Preston Casey has always been a very caring person who is always eager to help people but I have witnessed that he has become even more compassionate since losing both his parents. He is also very sensitive to those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Last month Preston responded to a traffic crash. The man who caused the accident was on his way home from the VA Hospital where he was receiving treatment for his PTSD stemming from years of deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq. The accident was the last straw for this military veteran and by his own admission he “lost it”. Preston began talking to this man and was able to calm him down and then gave this man his cellphone number offering a listening ear at any time, on or off-duty. Later that day this man called while Officer Casey was on his way home after completing his shift. Preston spent the next 45 minutes talking to the veteran helping him through a crisis. According to the man he was contemplating suicide but with the help of Preston Casey he made it through this crisis. We received a very nice and emotional voice mail from this military veteran, who continues to deal with PTSD, thanking Officer Casey for what he did.
About a week ago Officer Casey encountered another man who was contemplating suicide and who was going through an emotional crisis. Preston also gave this man his cell phone number and told him to call at any time, it did not matter if Preston was on or off-duty, for help. This man did call and Preston was able to help.
Preston was designated as our liaison to the homeless population present in Centerville. For the past year or so Preston has been watching over and offering assistance to every homeless person who has taken to living in the hidden areas of Centerville. Preston checks on every one of these people on a weekly basis to make sure they are well and not in need of help.
Officer Preston Casey was voted by his peers as the Centerville Police Department Officer of the Year for 2017.”
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