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OFFICER HONORED FOR RESPONSE WHILE OFF DUTY

Last week, police Chief Charles "Chuck" Harmon honored several officers for their quick-thinking, life-saving efforts while on the job. One of those officers received a commendation for responding to an emergency in her neighborhood while off duty.

Officer Jennifer Lich, 35, is a community service officer in District II, in northern St. Petersburg. She has been a city police officer for eight years. During her career, she has received 13 commendations and no citizen complaints.

Several months ago, Jennifer was relaxing at her home when a frantic neighbor came by to tell her that a child, who had been missing in the neighborhood, had just been found at the bottom of a pool.

Jennifer grabbed the automatic external defibrillator (AED) from her take-home cruiser and rushed over to the pool.

By the time she arrived, the girl had been pulled from the pool. Another neighbor began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Jennifer checked for a pulse and determined that the AED wasn't needed.

Jennifer then realized the neighbor was having difficulty resuscitating the child, so she tilted the girl's head back to open her airway. Jennifer and the neighbor then worked together, performing mouth-to-mouth on the child until paramedics arrived.

The child was taken to a nearby hospital, then flown to All Children's Hospital until she was removed from life support three days later.

Although the outcome was tragic, Lich's actions were commendable. For Lich, being a police officer is more than a job; it's a reflection of how she lives her life.

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