The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) on June 6 announced Sergeant Edward Webster and Officers Junior Clervil, Emanuel Walton III, Julian Reyes and Michael Montesino of the Miami-Dade, Florida, Police Department as its Officers of the Month for April 2023. These officers were selected for the heroics exhibited as they saved the life of a small child trapped in a submerged vehicle.
On February 27, 2023, Sergeant Webster and Officers Walton, Reyes, Clervil and Montesino responded to an auto accident involving a single car that left the roadway and entered into a canal. The vehicle was partially submerged and still sinking as officers arrived on the scene. They found the emotional driver in the water, desperately trying to free his 3-year-old son who was below the water line and trapped in his car seat.
Officers Reyes and Walton wasted no time, quickly jumping into the water to assist, multiple times coming up empty before Walton located the child and physically broke the child’s car seat free. He was then able to successfully remove the child and pass the lifeless body to the other officers on the shore. It was there that Officers Clervil and Montesino immediately began CPR. The initial round of compressions seemed to have no effect, but as the agonizing seconds ticked past, and Officer Clervil began a second round of CPR, the child regurgitated water and let out what Officer Clervil later called “the best cry” he’d heard in his life. The child regained consciousness and was transported to a local hospital where he made a full recovery.
“These officers are heroes, and their actions serve to highlight the countless acts of valor which often go unnoticed and without the recognition or fanfare such acts deserve,” NLEOMF Executive Director William Alexander said. “We are humbled and proud to honor Sergeant Edward Webster and Officers Junior Clervil, Emanuel Walton III, Julian Reyes and Michael Montesino as our Officers of the Month for April 2023.”
The Officer of the Month Award Program is sponsored by the Police Unity Tour and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the fallen, telling the story of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. The first pillar of this mission, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., honors the names of all of the 23,229 officers who have died in the line of duty to date throughout U.S. history. Additionally, NLEOMF maintains and publishes comprehensive details on the circumstances surrounding official line-of-duty deaths. The Officer Safety and Wellness pillar uses that data, coupled with best-practice program models, to produce programming directed at solutions to improve survivability and enhance wellness. NLEOMF’s third pillar, the National Law Enforcement Museum (LawEnforcementMuseum.org), is committed to preserving the history of American law enforcement and sharing the experiences of service and sacrifice for generations to come.