RARITAN TWP., NJ – Even the most experienced law enforcement officers acknowledge that they rely on tips from the public in order to be truly effective in their communities.
Glenn Tabasko has been the chief of the Raritan Township Police Department for more than a decade, and he’s been with the department for about 38 years. But even with that experience and familiarity with the township and Police Department staff, he depends on tips, too.
Tabasko told Township Committee at its March 6 meeting that he got a tip on March 4 about two of his officers.
Tabasko said he was having breakfast two days earlier at the Golden Star Diner on Route 202 here when waitresses tipped him off.
“That’s amazing that your guys were in here a few hours ago,” they told him, “and saved a baby’s life.”
Sgt. Matthew Lawrence and Cpl. Ryan Garbolino had been having their breakfast at the diner, too. A young couple had a 6-month old baby that was “choking or had a seizure of some kind and stopped breathing,” the chief said.
The officers heard the screaming and ran to the front of diner.
“The parents immediately handed the baby off to them because as most young parents (would be) they were panicked,” Tabasko said. After the officers applied a series of back blows and a mouth sweep, “Fortunately the baby started breathing again,” he said.
“I had no idea,” it had happened, Tabasko said. “True to form, with my guys when they do something like that, they don’t say anything to anybody.”
“I just want to commend those officers for a great job, and for being so humble they don’t even mention it,” Tabasko said. “If I hadn’t gone to the diner, I wouldn’t have known. It’s the kind of things these guys do every day and they don’t get enough credit for it.”
Tabasko said he plans to reward the officers with a more formal recognition at a future date.