LATHROP – It started out like any other burglary patrol for three members of Lathrop Police Services.
But when Sergeant Wayne Orvick and Deputies Jeff Watson and Caleb Lind came across a house on Agusta Drive that was engulfed in flames, they did the opposite of what most people do when a building is on fire.
They ran inside.
Thinking only of the people that they feared might have been trapped inside, the three sworn officers – who were honored by the City of Lathrop and the Lathrop City Council for their heroism last week – swept through the house as quickly as they could searching for people who might have been injured or incapacitated before Lathrop-Manteca Fire District crews were able to arrive.
Nobody was home at the time, but the trio did manage to save the family’s dog in the precursory search.
“All three of them went in instinctively. When most people think of a fire they’re thinking ‘run’ – what’s amazing to me is that they were able to do the opposite without thinking,” said Lathrop Police Chief Danielle Hohe. “It takes a certain type of person to be able to do that, I’m proud to have all of them on our team.”
Orvick – who was presented with an additional certificate for his 11-years of dedicated service to the community after it was announced he was being transferred to another unit – stood next to Watson and Lind while Hohe described exactly what happened and the bravery that each of them exhibited during the process.
When Mayor Joseph “Chaka” Santos gave them the opportunity to describe the scenario for the council, all three declined with Lind stating “we really don’t talk a lot about what it is that we do.”
“People that do our job do brave things every day, but it’s nice to get recognized by the city for doing it,” he said after receiving his commendation. “The standard answer is that we were just doing our jobs. But it is nice to get recognized.”
Watson echoed his sentiments.
“During difficult times it’s good to see a job well done,” he said. “But I also feel that any of the other guys would have done the exact same thing in that situation. It’s a testament to the type of service the community is receiving.”