Officers recognized for helping Cape family
Three Cape Coral police officers received the Chief’s Special Recognition Award for recently helping out a family that had their well equipment removed.
On Jan. 5, Cape resident Carrie Ray called 911 after she realized that her well equipment was missing, specifically two pressure tanks. She had gone to wash her youngest child’s hair when she realized that there was no water.
When Ray went to look at the equipment, she found the tanks missing.
“I thought they were stolen,” she said. “I had no idea what was going on.”
Officer Jason Rosas responded to the call at 1819 N.E. 26th Terrace.
After some phone calls, police discovered that the company that had installed the new equipment had repossessed the tanks earlier that day for non-payment. Ray said she showed Rosas a receipt for the equipment.
“I showed the cops that I paid for it,” she said.
Ray explained that she and her family had paid for the equipment and got the receipt. Apparently the person who accepted the money had not turned it over for the well equipment, and the company repossessed it for non-payment.
“The company was not helping. It was late and it was cold,” she said.
As the family had no money at-hand to pay for the equipment again, Rosas contacted Sgt. Dan Frantz out of concern for the children in the home.
Ray shares the home with her boyfriend, Marc Million, their three children – Gage Ray, 13, Keegan Million, 6, and Lanna Million, 5 – and their dog, Lilly.
The police told Ray that they would be back after doing some paperwork.
“They came back and they had pressure tanks. They got new nuts, bolts and everything,” she said, adding that the officers then installed the equipment.
“They stayed up all night. They were there like four or five hours,” Ray said, adding that she held the flashlight. “They did it all – it was awesome.”
According to police officials, Frantz went to Lowe’s and made contact with the manager just prior to the store closing. He got the necessary equipment to get the well system up and running, paying for it out of his own pocket.
Frantz returned to the home, where he, Rosas and Officer Joe Cieslinski installed the equipment so the family and children would have running water.
“I offered to pay and they said no,” Ray said, adding that the officers told her that she had little kids and they needed to have water. “I was shocked.”
“I thought, ‘There are good people out there. People that do care,'” she said.
Million called the officers actions “unbelievable.”
“I just couldn’t believe it,” he said, estimating that each tank cost $200.
“I’m sure it would have put a big struggle on our schedule,” Million said of working around the lack of water until they could replace the tanks.
Ray echoed that.
“We would have had to figure out somewhere to go for the night,” she said, adding that it would have taken days to get new tanks. “We all had to work.”
Ray and Million both voiced how thankful they were of the officers.
“I’m glad that they have such good hearts and they care about people,” she said. “They did a great job – the whole neighborhood thought it was great.”
The well and septic company involved later came out and checked out the equipment. Ray said the company “felt bad about the situation” and offered her family six months of free service and treatment for their equipment.
Frantz, Rosas and Cieslinski were nominated for the Chief’s Special Recognition Award by another member of the Cape police and a committee voted on Thursday in favor of bestowing the recognition upon the three.
Frantz has been with the department since 1997. Cieslinski has been with the CCPD since 2006, and Rosas has been with the department since 2007.
All three are members of the traffic unit and are assigned to Platoon 4.
“They were humbled when they were nominated,” Lt. Tony Sizemore, spokesman for the Cape police, said Thursday. “I know all three of them, and they’ll be very proud and very very humbled to receive it (the award).”
“They’ll say it’s just the right thing to do,” he added.
None of the officers were available for comment.
According to Sizemore, they will be presented the award at a later date, including receiving a certificate and baby blue and gold ribbon that they can pin to their uniform. Only one or two of the awards are given out a year.
“It’s awarded to a member of the department for outstanding achievement above what is normally expected, specifically related to community service,” he said.
Sizemore noted the entire department is proud of the three.
“Personally, I’m just really honored to be working with people like that,” he said. “These are the qualities and characteristics of the men and women that are out there protecting the city.”
He added that Police Chief Jay Murphy is “very proud.”
“The fact that we talk about being engaged with the community and being involved with the community, it’s really a buzz word,” Sizemore said. “But, I think this demonstrates that our officers have really bought into it. I think these actions really speak to that.”