Franklin — Though his applause may not have been heard in the sea of accolade, the claps of bus driver James "Mickey" Throll were some of the most significant, since they would not have been heard at all were it not for the man standing next to him.
Officer Kevin Mullikin, who saved Throll's life earlier this year, was given the Meritorious Lifesaving Award for his efforts. It was one of the many awards given out at the Franklin Police Department's awards ceremony.
Every year, the department recognizes both officers and civilians who had bravely saved lives, assisted in arrests, or otherwise helped keep the streets of Franklin safe.
Including Mullikin, the department recognized five officers and five civilians at this year's ceremony, held Tuesday, Nov. 22, noting the various ways lives were saved.
At the scene
On April 13, Throll had fallen unconscious while driving children home from school, leading the bus to crash into several other vehicles before stopping in a ditch. When officer Mullikin arrived on the scene, he had to break down the door to enter the bus.
Mullikin immediately started performing CPR on Throll, but after several minutes of performing this strenuous activity, he began to grow exhausted.
Luckily, passerby Jonathan Scherrer, who also knows CPR, noticed what was going on and jumped in to help
Thanks to the efforts of Scherrer and Mullikin, Throll was eventually able to make a full recovery. Scherrer also received the Citizen Lifesaving Award that night for his efforts.
This year, the department also recognized an employee for excellent dispatching – the second time ever, and first time in a number of years, that the department has done so.
Dispatcher Amy Hughes received the Meritorious Dispatching Citation for saving lives and assisting in an arrest, all over the phone.
According to Officer Gary Wallace, who presented the awards that evening, Hughes demonstrated both professionalism and quick-thinking when she answered a call on Nov. 5 of last year.
Hughes had received a phone call from a woman who said her husband was suicidal and armed, and had threatened to kill her if she called the police. Hughes was able to dispatch police officers to the woman's location while keeping the woman on the line to stay updated on the husband's location and actions. However, shortly after, she was disconnected.
When Hughes called back, the woman didn't answer the phone; her husband did. However, Hughes quickly thought of a cover story so that the man would not know his wife had called the police. Hughes said that she had received noise complaints from the neighbors, and she was then able to keep the man from hurting himself or anyone else before the police arrived and were able to resolve the situation.
"The caller and her family, and the officers who made it home to see their own families, owe Dispatcher Hughes a debt of gratitude," Wallace said before presenting Hughes with the award. "Good dispatching saves lives."
In the office
Communications Supervisor Cindy Manke also saved someone's life without leaving the office.
"Cindy Manke has served the city of Franklin and the police department for many years as the dispatch supervisor," Wallace said. "We are all grateful for her contributions and her service; however, one particular employee, Dispatcher Estrada, is more grateful than the rest to have Cindy for a boss."
On Oct. 3, 2016, Manke encountered a problem she had never seen before in her years of service: one of her employees, Dispatcher Katie Estrada, was choking on an aspirin.
Acting immediately, Manke was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Dispatcher Estrada, saving her life.
Two other officers received awards that night, as well, for their efforts in making critical arrests.
Ann Aide and David Burkee both received the Meritorious Arrest Citation for going above and beyond to follow their instincts and arrest suspects involved in burglaries.
Aide arrested a suspect for robbing a Check 'n Go in Franklin after arriving on the scene and meeting a man who refused to talk to her and then ran off. She noticed where the man was heading, and guessed he was going to a nearby trailer park.
Though the man had changed clothes by the time he got to that location, Aide recognized him. With the help of other officers and a K9 unit, the man's clothes were located, tying him to the burglaries. The suspect would eventually be cited for other burglaries in the area, as well.
Officer David Burkee not only arrested a man wanted for burglaries in West Allis but also recovered possessions stolen from two young girls in Franklin.
Burkee was called to the Sunrise Motel to help two West Allis detectives apprehend a suspect who was wanted for several burglaries. Once in the motel room, he noticed two tablet cases, so he began looking for the devices that went with them, remembering a prior case when two tablets were stolen from a Franklin home.
Not only was Burkee instrumental in the arrest of the man, but he recovered both tablets, which were returned to the two girls.
Civilians in service
In addition to Scherrer, four other civilians received awards for lifesaving and community service.
Jon Godden received the Citizen Lifesaving Award for performing CPR and using an AED on a young man who had fallen unconscious and started foaming at the mouth while working out at Anytime Fitness. Godden's efforts kept the man alive, and the man eventually made a full recovery at the hospital.
Dino Flores, Rachel Flores and Kyle Hovanec all received the Citizen Community Service Award for reporting crimes that led to the arrests of two wanted people.
The Floreses had reported a man was pulling on car doors near their home. They were able to provide a such a detailed description of the suspect and his location that the police were able to locate and arrest the man, who was charged with concealing stolen property and resisting arrest.
Hovanec not only called 911 to report a theft, but also managed take back the merchandise a woman had stolen from Walmart and then follow the woman to report her location to the police. The woman, and the rest of her crew who were involved in other local crimes, were arrested thanks to Hovanec's service.