St. Louis area police chief commends his ‘ordinary heroes’ in wake of Florida school shooting

ST. LOUIS, MO — Town and Country Chief Gary Hoelzer posted this commentary about the “ordinary heroes” he works with every day to the police department’s Facebook page. Pictured in the post are two officers receiving an award for waking people up and saving them from a house fire.

“I have worked alongside police officers for over 37 years and people may get tired of hearing me say it…but I have witnessed enough to affirm that I work with “common, ordinary heroes.” Ordinary people rising to extraordinary acts of courage when pressed by extreme circumstances. I have observed officers running to gunfire, and not away from it. I have seen officers place their vehicle in the path of a wrong way driver on the interstate, chase down homicide suspects and arrest armed robbers, pulling people out of burning vehicles…and houses – all knowing that their chosen calling (or the calling that chose them) is not only worth living for, but worth dying for.

Much is being said about events in Florida and what deputies did or did not do. I will let those investigations play out and no one needs my commentary. However, I will say this about the men and women who wear Town and Country blue…they are ordinary people who have done, and are willing to do, extraordinary things to carry out our mission to SERVE AND PROTECT!”

Letters of commendation were given to Corporal Freddie Yaakub, Officer Dan Duddleston, Sergeant Jeff McNutt and Officer Josh Hamel on February 3rd. Police say the officers entered a house that was on fire, woke up the residents and escorted them to safety.