ST. LOUIS – Officer Dave Tenorio came to St. Louis in the summer of 1992 and joined the National Guard before being activated during the Flood of ’93.
Tenorio joined the United States Air Force right out of high school before becoming an officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
He has spent nearly three decades serving the St. Louis community. He’s most known for his role as a motorcycle cop, often seen during St. Louis’ biggest events, parades, and downtown activities. He says residents often remember him years later because they have pictures of their child getting up on his motorcycle. He lives and loves the City of St. Louis because “I like the things that go on in the city. I get to be involved in everything major that goes on in the city.”
Tenorio’s fellow officers tease him that he’s a one-band member of the Village People, “because I’m the motorcycle officer, I’m the military person, I’m in the Indian guy…it’s all in good fun!”
Officer Tenorio has been here for a couple of World Series parades, the Rams Super Bowl parade, and last year’s Blues’ Stanley Cup parade.
“It’s wonderful to see little kids in awe when they see an officer,” he said.
Officer Tenorio suffered a heart attack while he was in the hospital fighting COVID-19 and was the first patient to receive Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) to get through it. His wife, Kathie, also tested positive for COVID-19 and was recovering herself while her husband was fighting for his life.
Kathie said the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital was amazing.
“I was a deer in the headlights, I would freeze up. I would think ‘this isn’t happening,'” she said.
FOX 2 was there when Officer Tenorio was discharged from St. Luke’s Hospital.
Officer Tenorio says he is often asked how he can continue in such a tough job, but he says there is far too many good people that keep him going.
“There are a lot of good people in this city that still need us,” he said.
Tenorio learned just how good this community is during his hospital stay. The St. Louis community rallied around him, sending cards, offering prayers, and flooding social media with positivity.
“You realize just how many people support us. There are many times that it is still so humbling to me just how much people care about us,” he said. “When I got sick and I was in the hospital, that’s when I realized how much a part of this community that I am. It’s an honor to serve this city.”
Officer Tenorio is grateful for his police family, the St. Louis community, his wife, and all the doctors and nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital who made the decisions that helped save his life. Officer Tenorio is working hard every day to return to the job he loves and hopes to be back sometime in August.
Brown & Brown Law Firm presented Tenorio with today’s $500 award.
“You give it to people who deserve it. Dave’s a great guy. We’re glad that he’s healthy and back with us,” said attorney Ed Brown.
If you would like to nominate a first responder, military or veteran for our Proud to Serve award, click here.