Police Sgt. Caillier to be honored for heroic act

Auburn Police Sgt. Mark Caillier will be awarded his second Auburn Police Department Medal of Distinction and a citation in honor of heroism in service on Monday at the regular meeting of the Auburn City Council.

Police Chief Jim Kelly will do the honors.

In remarks prepared for the occasion, Kelly explained why.

On Nov. 28, 911 dispatched several Auburn officers to the area of 3611 I St. NE to deal with a woman driving erratically, striking several poles and roadway signs. The woman subsequently drove into a mobile home park and hit another parked vehicle.

Caillier found the car in a rain-swollen drainage pond. Most of the car was under water, and he could see the passenger compartment filling with water up to the top of the seats and the driver in her seat. He summoned other officers to help get the woman out of the sinking car as fast as possible.

Without regard to his own safety, Caillier jumped in to the cold, dirty drainage water and tried without success to open the driver’s door. He then helped the woman by floating her from the front of the vehicle to the rear passenger side window. From this point, he was able to free the woman from the car and pull her to safety on the bank.

Kelly said the driver was in no condition to save herself, and hesitation was not an option. Kelly said Caillier exhibited “outstanding courage and commitment to his chosen profession, disregarded his own safety and was clearly aware that by jumping in the water he posed a risk of serious injury to himself.”

Caillier’s first medal of distinction was awarded on Jan. 17, 2000 for saving a life.