Police receive all kinds of training and go through classes to be prepared for any situation that may arise.

While training is a big part of what they do and how they can deescalate a stressful, tense or dangerous situation, having compassion, kindness and respect for others is a key and often critical part of who they are and how they respond.

The Spring Lake Heights Police Department and several officers are receiving recognition and gratitude by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey today for their "exemplary work but also extraordinary compassion, while in the line of duty", in responding to situations that required extra care recently and to the departments leadership under Chief Edward Gunnell.

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Acting Prosecutor Linskey pointed out Friday an incident that occurred earlier in September when Spring Lake Heights Police Patrolmen Ray Kwiatkowski, Ian Davis, and Michael O’Neill responded to the scene of a school bus that was pulled over on the side of the road with a young passenger in crisis, having information heading in that the passenger may possibly have sustained an injury.

The officers were provided information by dispatch requesting that as they arrive to the scene, they turn off their lights and sirens.

Once on scene, Patrolman Kwiatkowski, who became the department's Special Needs Officer earlier this year, spoke with the child on the bus and built up a bond with the child, calming them down and helping bring the situation to a peaceful ending.

Acting Prosecutor Linskey also draws recognition to a situation that occurred earlier this year, when Patrolman Kwiatkowski along with Patrolman Davis and Sgt. Zachary Ramp responded to a similar call, this time though it was a private residence after they received a report of an individual in crisis.

They were again asked to turn off their lights and sirens when they arrived on scene.

Patrolman Kwiatkowski was able to make contact with the person inside and build up a bond, relationship on scene to make sure that this person was able to have access to the appropriate care they needed.

"Through training, education, and real-world application, MCPO has placed an enormous recent emphasis on crisis intervention by law enforcement, and we are proud to say that the actions of these officers are fully emblematic of those ideals. We applaud the fashion in which they went about protecting and serving those in need," Acting Prosecutor Linskey said in a statement.

In 2016, the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and Monmouth County Sheriff's Office introduced a Special Needs Registry which provides training to officers and creates a database where those with special needs in the community can have their information put into by family members so that in situations that require a different approach to better serve the individuals police are responding to help out.

First Responders Appreciation