Yesterday, BPD recognized several Officers with Life Saving and Meritorious Awards during our swearing in and promotional ceremony. The following details describe our officer’s actions going above and beyond the call of duty.
Mathew Balsizer, Michael Tamayo and Reginald Boseman: Life Saving Award
On August 28, 2022, Officers Mathew Balsizer, Michael Tamayo, and Reginald Boseman were dispatched to a residence in the 300 block of East Pipkin in reference to a stabbing. When the officers arrived, they located the victim lying in a pool of blood. The woman had been stabbed multiple times, including one wound which spanned her entire neck area. No ambulance was immediately able to respond to the scene, so the officers took it upon themselves to administer first aid and transport the victim to the hospital. They used items from around the home to make a stretcher for the victim. She was carried out of the house and placed in a patrol vehicle. Officer Balsizer drove the patrol unit as Officers Tamayo and Boseman continued to administer first aid to the victim in the backseat. When they arrived at the hospital the woman was immediately taken to emergency surgery. According to the director of the Trauma Unit for the hospital, the officers’ creative and decisive actions that day saved the victim’s life. If they had waited for an ambulance, it is unlikely the victim would have survived.
Chase Ratcliff: Meritorious Service
On August 13, 2022, officers were dispatched to the 3200 block of North 10th Street in reference to a man threatening suicide. When officers arrived at the scene, the man was already barricaded inside his bedroom. He claimed to be armed with an assault rifle. The man even sent a text message to a family member showing that he did in fact have a firearm. Officers set a perimeter around the residence, and Officer Chase Ratcliff – who is a member of the hostage negotiation team – spoke with the suicidal man over the phone. For over an hour and a half, Officer Ratcliff talked to the man. Though the man’s emotions swung wildly throughout their conversation, Officer Ratcliff remained calm and continued to develop rapport with him. Officer Ratcliff found out that the man was threatening suicide because of relationship problems with his girlfriend. Eventually, the man hung up, but Officer Ratcliff came up with a creative solution. The man’s girlfriend was at the scene, so Officer Ratcliff took a photo of her and sent it to the suicidal man. After receiving the photo, contact was re-established and – after a lengthy conversation – he said that he would come out peacefully. A surrender plan was developed, and the man came out of the residence unarmed and unhurt. Because of Officer Ratcliff’s ability to stay calm, communicate effectively and think outside of the box, this incident came to a peaceful conclusion.
Officers Tray Armstrong and William Gilmore: Meritorious Service
On December 6, 2022, Officers Gilmore and Armstrong were dispatched to a residence in the 2000 block of Euclid in reference to checking the welfare of eight children. When the officers arrived at the scene, they spoke with the mother of the children, who appeared to be suffering with mental health issues. There was no food in the residence, and the house was extremely unsanitary; in short, it was not a fit environment for children. Child Protective Services eventually located the father and released the children to him. Seeing that they were obviously hungry Officer Gilmore took it upon himself to purchase food for the children that night.
The story, however, does not end there. The next day, Officers Gilmore and Armstrong contacted Sergeant Swope to organize getting Christmas gifts for the children. With the assistance of other organizations, Officers Gilmore and Armstrong were able to have two sets of bunk beds and bedding donated to the children. They were also able to coordinate food donations from the Food Bank and Allegiance Bank as well as clothing donations from other sources. The officers were also able to assist the children’s father with enrolling the youngest of the group into a daycare facility so that he was able to continue his employment.
Because of their efforts and goodness of heart (along with the help of our community), Officers Gilmore and Armstrong were able to save a family from hunger and unsanitary conditions during the holiday season. Both officers are to be commended for their meritorious service. They truly went above and beyond.
Jay Revia: Meritorious Service
On July 25, 2022, the Beaumont Police Department SWAT Team conducted a search warrant in the 6600 block of Prutzman. Officer Revia led the SWAT officers who cleared the residence. As Officer Revia and his team were clearing the residence, they located the suspect in a bedroom. The suspect retrieved a knife and retreated to an adjoining room. The suspect put the knife to his neck and threatened suicide. Though the situation was tense and stressful, Officer Revia remained calm, and spoke with the man for forty-five minutes. Officer Revia demonstrated exceptional de-escalation skills, and eventually convinced the man to put down the knife. Because of Officer Revia’s leadership, his calm demeanor, and his perseverance, this incident was brought to a nonviolent and peaceful conclusion.
During this incident Officer Revia displayed excellence in two very different roles involving two very different skill sets. As leader of the SWAT element, he was responsible for safely leading a group of dynamic operators into a potentially volatile and dangerous situation. When he encountered a suicidal suspect, he was able to seamlessly shift into the role of negotiator. He was able to fulfill both roles equally well and is being recognized for his meritorious service to this department and community.
Officers Brianna Ortega, Michael Tamayo: Meritorious Service
On September 29, 2022 Officers Ortega and Tamayo were on cal call for service in the 2900 block of South 8th Street. While handling this situation, they were approached by a woman, unrelated to the call they were on, exclaiming that her baby was not breathing. Both officers immediately ran to the apartment where they found the child, a five-month-old little boy. Tamayo and Ortega took control of the scene and began first aid. The child remained unresponsive, but the officers refused to give up, taking turns administering CPR until paramedics arrived and took over care. The child regained a pulse at the scene, was taken to the hospital, and was ultimately life flighted to Houston.
Both officers showed outstanding calm and composure in dealing with an overwhelmingly intense situation. They were able to provide CPR to a very young child while maintaining control of a chaotic scene. Furthermore, the two worked together to complete all of the tasks required, including gathering the initial information for what would tragically become a homicide investigation.
Officers Brianna Ortega and Michael Tamayo are being recognized for their meritorious service to this department and our community.