Sugar Land City Council Celebrates Police Officers, Public Works Employees and EMS Practitioners

At its Tuesday meeting, the Sugar Land City Council recognized May 15-21, 2022 as National Police Week.

“We appreciate what you all do – you put your life on the line for all of us,” Mayor Joe Zimmerman said.

National Police Week is a time to honor federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.

“Just this week, a retired officer was killed in Buffalo,” Chief Eric Robins said. “It’s not just gunshots, but also traffic accidents (that kill police officers).”

“According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial page, the number of officers killed in traffic accidents has increased by 93%, so please don’t drink and drive, and when you see those red and blue lights flashing , please move on,” Deputy Chief Michelle Allen said.

National Peace Officers Memorial Day was created on October 1, 1961, when Congress authorized the president to designate May 15 and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week.

May 15-21 is also National Public Works Week and National Emergency Medical Services Week.

At the same meeting, council honored the 138 employees who make up the City’s Public Works Department.

Brian Butscher, director of public works for Sugar Land, reiterated that the DPW can also be called upon in national emergencies or disasters.

NPWW was introduced as a public education campaign by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1960. It draws attention to the men and women who provide and maintain infrastructure and services in a community. Public works include water and wastewater management, street infrastructure, drainage infrastructure, right-of-way mowing and traffic.

Each year the NPWW focuses on one theme; the theme for 2022 is “Ready and Resilient”.

“These are the men and women who — when we had the Memorial Day floods, the Tax Day floods, Hurricane Harvey, a pandemic — show up to make sure the toilets are working, that there’s water that comes out of the tap and that our streets are safe,” Zimmerman said. “They do all of this with little recognition, and this is one time we can recognize them for the great work they do for the people of Sugar Land.”

Public works provides the unity needed to collaborate with all stakeholders in maintenance projects, infrastructure solutions and quality of life services, the city said.

The Sugar Land City Council issued a third proclamation recognizing National Emergency Medical Services Week.

Sugar Land Fire-EMS currently employs 121 state-certified EMS personnel, including 62 paramedics, 24 advanced paramedics, and 35 basic paramedics.

The theme for this year’s EMS week is “Rising to the Challenge”.

EMS Battalion Chief Cindy King gave commendations to paramedic Clint Cross and dispatcher JaNeka Horton.

“Clint was the primary paramedic for a patient who suffered an acute heart attack,” King said. “His early recognition and notification to the hospital and the treatment he provided enabled the patient to achieve a full recovery. Clint’s prompt actions ensured this patient’s survival.

Cross received the Chain of Survival Commendation.

Horton’s presence of mind and diligence helped locate and rescue a man who had collapsed during a video call. She received the Fire Chief’s Award.

On May 2, a call came in from a Sugar Land student who saw his teacher collapse during a virtual class, King said. The student only had the teacher’s name. Horton, who took the call at 1:55 p.m., cross-checked the name and address, confirmed it was part of the Harris County Community College system, and contacted the appropriate department. EMS arrived on scene within 15 minutes.

“(Horton) is not in the fire department,” King said. “But we would still like to recognize that dispatch is a vital part of the organization.”

EMS systems consist of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, educators, administrators, prehospital nurses, emergency nurses, trained emergency physicians from members of the public.

This year marks the 47th annual National EMS Week.

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Rachel J. Bradford