At the Oct. 9, 2023, City Council meeting, five members of the Snoqualmie Police Dept. were honored and presented with service merit awards for their immediate actions that directly saved the lives of several Snoqualmie Valley residents.
“A failure to act or actions delayed could have led to a tragic outcome,” explained Interim SPD Chief Brian Lynch while presenting the awards. “It is clear on these days, these officers went above and beyond their normal police duties and because they did, tragedies were averted.”
The following Snoqualmie Police Dept. members were honored:
Ofc. Chase Smith and Sgt. Jason Weiss:
On back-to-back days in May 2021 – in separate incidents - Ofc. Smith and Sgt. Weiss helped save the lives of two residents who had entered the Snoqualmie River at Sandy Cove Park to retrieve their dogs - and were nearly swept downstream. In both incidents Ofc. Smith and Sgt. Weiss worked with the Snoqualmie Fire Dept. to save these residents and their pets from drowning.
Sgt. Nigel Draveling and Det. Werre
In April 2020, Sgt. Nigel Draveling and Det. Christopher Werre responded to a reported robbery at the Salish Lodge. The suspect fled on a bike to the Snoqualmie River bridge and was contemplating suicide. With quick actions and communication, Sgt. Draveling and Det. Werre apprehended the individual before he could harm himself. The person later thanked the officers, even while under arrest.
Ofc. Chase Smith
In November 2020, Ofc. Smith responded to a North Bend business where his quick instincts and the CPR he performed saved the life of a collapsed man.
Ofc. Austin Gutwein
In January 2020, Ofc. Gutwein responded to a North Bend restaurant. His quick actions, and the CPR performed, save the life of a man who had been choking.
"Most days we go to work hoping we can make a difference, but many of those days we are left feeling like all we did was witness the worst in people,” said Interim Chief Lynch. “Then there are days like these officers experienced where they absolutely know they saved a life. On behalf of a grateful community, I say thank you to each of these outstanding officers."
Pictured L to R: Int. Chief Lynch, Ofc. Smith, Ofc. Gutwein, Sgt. Weiss, Michael 'L.T' Liebetrau (Not pictured: Sgt. Draveling and Det. Werre)
Pictured L to R: Int. Chief Lynch, Ofc. Smith, Ofc. Gutwein, Sgt. Weiss, Mayor Ross. (Not pictured: Sgt. Draveling and Det. Werre)