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By Sgt. Nathaniel Free
Public Affairs Office
Capt. Charles Thompson, a full-time victim advocate for Utah National Guard’s Family Programs was recognized by Salt Lake City Police Department during a command staff meeting at the Public Safety Building in Salt Lake City, “for going beyond the call of duty,” Feb. 12, 2020.
On December 6, 2019, Thompson walked out of the Family Justice Center, on break from training, to find SLCPD Detective Darren Sipes on the ground, attempting to take a suspect into custody. According to Sipes, the man appeared to be intoxicated and unable to feel pain. Noticing the detective was alone and in distress, Thompson approached and asked Sipes if he needed help. Sipes affirmed that he needed help and Thomson “jumped right in,” according to the report read by Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown at the meeting.
Thompson grabbed the suspect's left arm, allowing Sipes to get a better grip on the suspect. After Sipes handcuffed the suspect, Thomson went back to his training at the Family Justice Center, “not expecting any gratitude for what he had done to help Officer Sipes,” according to the report.
After reading the report, Brown presented Thomson with a certificate of recognition and said, “On behalf of the Salt Lake City Police Department, I want to thank you for rendering aid to Detective Sipes without a second thought. Thank you for your heroism, your bravery, and all you did on that day.”
Brown explained that he had worked with Sipes for many years. Sipes stands at least six-feet tall, with broad shoulders and thick arms. “He’s very strong and very capable. If he says he needs help, he needs help.”
“The Army teaches personal courage,” Thompson said, “but you never really know how you’re going to react until you’re put in that situation. In that moment, as I was watching him, I thought, ‘he just needs help’ and I knew I was capable of rendering aid. I was happy to assist.”
The certificate, signed by Brown and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, reads in part: “For critical assistance rendered to the Salt Lake Police Department.”
“This is good work that needs to be recognized,” said Brown after the meeting. “A lot of people will stand and watch, or just walk away.”
He also presented Thompson with a rare “Chief’s Coin” which Brown only awards to those who “go above and beyond.”
“I’m not surprised that he would jump in and help,” said Col. David Osborne, Utah National Guard Human Resources Officer. “It’s just who he is.”
“I’d do it again,” Thompson said.
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